Ledesma takes first-round lead at TPC Colorado Championship
July 11, 2019
By Preston Smith, PGATOUR.COM
- July 11, 2019
- Nelson Ledesma, No. 18 on The 25, opened the TPC Colorado Championship in 7-under 65. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
BERTHOUD, Colo. — Argentinian Nelson Ledesma birdied six of his final nine holes to card a first-round, 7-under 65 and take the lead at the inaugural TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes. Ledesma will take a two-stroke lead into Friday’s second round over Will Zalatoris, Rico Hoey and Max Greyserman.
Starting on the 10th hole, Ledesma went 1-under on his first nine with birdies at Nos. 12, 15 and 16 countered by bogeys at 10 and 14. After making the turn, Ledesma carded birdies at Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9 for a second-nine 30 and 7-under total. The front nine played more than a stroke easier than the back nine on Thursday.
“My round was solid all around; everything was easy for me today,” said Ledesma. “I think I hit every fairway today and my putting was good. It was just a good all-around performance.”
The 28-year-old credited the par-5 first hole with jump-starting his round after an up-and-down first nine.
“On the first hole I was 261 yards out and literally hit the pin with my second shot,” said Ledesma of the 624-yard hole. “It bounced off the flagstick and reached the fringe left of the hole, but that was definitely my best shot of the day and had a chance to be an albatross.”
TPC Colorado is the longest course the Korn Ferry Tour has played in its 30-year history at 7,991 yards. The back nine is more than 200 yards longer than the front, highlighted by the 773-yard 13th (par-5) and the 273-yard 14th (par-3).
“I know this is the first time most of us have been out here, but this course is great,” said Ledesma. “It’s incredibly long, but the weather was perfect today for scoring. It was a beautiful day of golf.”
Ledesma is competing on the Korn Ferry Tour for the second year. As a rookie in 2018, he won the LECOM Health Challenge, but made only half of his cuts and earned three top-25s on his way to finishing 42nd on the money list. In 2019, Ledesma has already earned six top-25s in 17 events. A three-way tie for fourth or better would lock up his PGA TOUR card this week for the 2019-20 season.
Zalatoris posted the low round of the morning wave at 5-under 67. The 22-year-old Wake Forest University alum carded three consecutive birdies from Nos. 5-7 to reach 5-under. The former All-American earned Special Temporary Member status last week after a T3 finish which will allow him to set his schedule for the remainder of the year.
“It’s nice planning your schedule,” said Zalatoris. “A year and a half of not knowing where you’re going to be the next week is pretty tough. If anything, last week having a chance to win felt really good after not having that chance in so long. There were times last year when I was shooting 74s in Monday qualifiers. So I broke my swing down piece by piece and that’s led me to being here.”
Rico Hoey and Max Greyserman joined Zalatoris at 5-under during the afternoon wave. Hoey posted six birdies – highlighted by a 60-footer at the 10th to begin his day – with a lone bogey at the 17th for a 67. Greyserman tied for the second most birdies on Thursday with eight but was offset by a double bogey at the 13th and a bogey at the 18th.
Friday’s second round will run in two waves off the first and 10th tees from 6:50 a.m. to 2:32 p.m. MT.
Top-3 shots from Round 1 at the TPC Colorado Championship