Hearn stays hot with opening 64 at Kinderlou Forest

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
David Hearn came into Valdosta ranked 10th on the money list.
April 22, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Canada's David Hearn, fresh off a runner-up finish a week ago, continued his red-hot play with an 8-under-par 64 to open a three-stroke lead after the first round of the South Georgia Classic. Hearn matched the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club course record with his 64, which was the same score he posted a week ago at the Fresh Express Classic in Hayward, Calif., where he wound up solo second, one stroke back of winner Kevin Chappell.


"Obviously, last week I played really well all week and I just kept that same feeling going today," said Hearn, who held the second- and third-round leads in northern California before finishing 19-under par. "My goal right now is to hit the greens and give myself a chance for the putts to go in and fortunately today I saw a bunch of them go in there."

Hearn picked up steam as the afternoon went on, collecting six birdies on the back nine, including five of his last six holes. He closed out the day with three consecutive birdies, the final one from 18 feet.

Australians Ewan Porter and Gavin Coles posted 5-under 67s to share second place with Brad Iles of New Zealand.

Six players are in at 4-under 68 and are tied for fifth place.

Porter was the only player in the top-10 to come from the morning wave of players.

Following his blistering round, Hearn heard several voices ask him if he was playing the same golf as everyone else. The Kinderlou Forest G.C. stretches out 7,781 yards and has ranked among the toughest on the Nationwide Tour during each of it's first three years.

"I don't know, the same as everyone else," Hearn countered. "I just got hot coming in. Late in the day here, there wasn't much wind. I don't know if we were fortunate with our tee time or not but my irons were going pretty close and my putter was still hot."

Hearn, who hasn't won on the Nationwide Tour since the Alberta Classic in 2004, is No. 10 on the money list and appears to building a solid resume for 2010.

"I've worked really hard with a new coach and we've been working on a foundation for me to have a lot of really good tournaments this year," he said. "I'm playing with confidence from last week, there's no doubt."

The 30-year-old was solid again to open this week's tournament, hitting 13 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation. It didn't hurt that Hearn was paired with good friend and fellow Canadian Jon Mills (70), who was solo third at last week's tournament.

"We had fun talking hockey out there today. I've known Jon and we've played against each other and with each other for a long time," said Hearn. "We focus and then have some fun in between shots. My team (Toronto) didn't make the playoffs so it was more about Pittsburgh and whether they can close out their series tonight."

First-Round Notes:

David Hearn's 8-under 64 today matched the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club course record set by Paul Dickinson in the opening round in 2007 and matched by matched by Henrik Bjornstad in the second round last year.

• The scoring average today finished at 73.006. Following the morning wave of players, the average hovered around 74.6.

• The toughest hole on the course is the par-3, 6th hole. The hole measured at 252 yards today and yielded only 7 birdies, the fewest on any hole today. The hole also resulted in 42 bogeys, more than any other hole today.

John Kimbell, winner of the inaugural tournament in 2007, shot a 2-under 70 and is tied for 16th. Bryan DeCorso, champion in 2008, carded a 3-over 75 and is tied for 111thplace.