Scoring was at a premium on Thursday as a field of 132 players began their quest to qualify for the 2016 Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR.
American Seth Reeves paced the field at the Reunion Resort in Orlando on the opening day of the first of four qualifying tournaments for the tour.
Reeves posted an impressive 66 (-6) at the resort’s Nicklaus course to establish a three stroke lead. The 25 year-old from Georgia is being chased most closely by Ted Smith, Bob Wyatt, and Sam Love
“Q-School is a marathon as guys say, so to get off to a good start and know I can shoot this number out here helps a lot,” commented Reeves after his round. “Even if things get a little rocky, I’ll have that in my head now and I know that I can make birdies out here. My goal is to just be pretty chill and see what happens.”
While others found trouble at the course, Reeves used his length to take advantage of the 7244-yard layout where the scoring average was 76.61 for round one.
“I just was pretty relaxed starting out today. I drove the ball well and I hit it fairly long, so to be able to get some drivers in my hand and let ‘em loose and drive it well gave me the opportunity to have some shorter irons into holes, and I took advantage,” said Reeves.
Of the ten Canadian players in the field, Andrew Jensen of Ottawa tied the low round with a one-over-par, 73. It was only matched by Sebastien Szirmak of Toronto.
Jensen told Flagstick.com that he did his best to get through the day, one that he started early and in very cool temperatures.
“My play was okay, survival at its finest. My attitude and short range putting kept me alive,” he shared post-round. “Attitude is the key this week. Knowing that bogeys aren’t awful, and birdies are hard to come by, so very important. Conditions are great, hard, but very fair. My expectations are to keep my head about me and plot away with as many pars as possible. Experience will serve me well this week.”