After the opening round of the 2016 Golfbreaks.com Pinehurst Pro-Am it looked set to be a thrilling contest on both the Pro-Am and the Professional Individual and it certainly didn’t disappoint, as defending champion, Simon Edwards, rose to the top of the leaderboard.
Playing Pinehurst Resort’s Jack Nicklaus-designed No. 9 Course, the competitors were greeted with bitterly cold conditions but that certainly didn’t affect the hot putting of the of the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland’s Simon Edwards.
With the first five holes played in regulation, Edwards dropped a shot on the 6th hole. However this was quickly matched by a birdie on the following hole, and a snaking 15ft putt on the tricky 9th that saw Edwards play the outward nine in 35 – one-under par.
Coming back to the clubhouse Edwards really found his stride and two further birdies on holes 12 and 15 saw him sign for a joint best score of the day 69 (-3) and the outride lead at four-under par (140).
Round 01 leader Sam Cutting is close in pursuit however, and it was a day of close shaves for the young Professional. An early birdie on the first showed great promise of what was to come but sadly the putts just wouldn’t drop with many shaving the hole or lipping out for the duration of the round.
A bogey on four saw Cutting go out in level par, and two birdies and one bogey in his closing four holes saw Cutting remain well in contention heading into the second half of the tournament, just one shot off the lead at three-under (141).
In third place is PGA of GB&I Professional, Darren Bragg, who matched Edwards’ score of 69 for tied best round of the day and moved back to level par for the tournament (144).
In the Team Pro-Am competition it is equally as close – Cutting and his amateurs, Vincenzo Liannone, Martin Brown & Keith Nethercott [pictured above], have maintained their lead moving to 162 Points (-18), but hot on their heels are Team Bragg who had the best round of the day with 81 points (-9), which saw them jump up the leaderboard and into second place, just two points off the pace.
Looking ahead, Courses No. 4 and No. 2 await, which look set to be a stern test for all the golfers, however the excitement of following in the footsteps of Major Winners and Ryder Cup legends is there for all to see and it’s going to be an excellent couple of days and an amazing experience for all.
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