Max McGreevy and Rick Lamb carded matching 8-under 64s to earn a share of the first-round lead at the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper. Jamie Arnold and Sebastián Vázquez sit T3 at 7-under 65 after Thursday’s opening round at Highland Springs Country Club.
Beginning his day on the back nine, McGreevy got off to a hot start with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11. He went on to add three more birdies over his next seven holes to turn at 5-under.
After pars on Nos. 1 and 2, McGreevy carded back-to-back birdies for the second time on Thursday with birdies on Nos. 3 and 4. After a birdie on the par-5 eighth, the 25-year-old converted a difficult up-and-down on the par-4 ninth to finish with a bogey-free, 8-under 64.
“I just got off to a good start. We had a good game plan, my caddie and I,” McGreevy said after his round. “A lot of guys hit drivers out here, I’ve been hitting my mid-irons really well and wasn’t trying to push too much.”
Despite the 8-under 64 on Thursday, McGreevy noted that he has struggled with his opening rounds this season. Through the first 12 events, he ranks 70th in scoring average before the cut with an average of 70.55.
In his previous 11 starts this year, the former University of Oklahoma standout has made three cuts but has also recorded three top-25s. His best result of 2020 came at the Panamá Championship where he finished T3. Last week, he added his second top-10 of the season with a T9 at the TPC San Antonio Championship at the Oaks.
“It’s been kind of frustrating,” he said of his season. “I feel like I’ve played well; I just haven’t had good first rounds. I just really haven’t given myself a breath from the cut line all year long.”
McGreevy last played on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2018. During his rookie campaign, he made seven cuts in 16 starts.
In 2019, he traveled overseas to play on the PGA TOUR Series – China and found his game. He made the cut in all 13 starts in China and added a victory and nine top-10s. His stellar play earned him Player of the Year honors and a return to the Korn Ferry Tour.
Despite having only made three cuts this season, McGreevy finds himself ranked 40th in The 25 with his game trending upward.
“Luckily, I feel like my game has kind of turned in a good direction,” he said. “It’s been a bit of a frustrating year but I’m happy with the finishes I’ve had. Hopefully, I can give myself some more chances on the weekend and continue to play well.”
Lamb, who also started on No. 10, birdied four of his opening five holes. After pars on Nos. 15 and 16, he added his fifth birdie of the day on No. 17 and made the turn at 5-under.
On the front nine, the University of Tennessee product continued his strong play with birdies on Nos. 1, 3 and 4 to earn a share of the lead at 8-under. The 29-year-old played his final five holes at even-par to finish the round with a share of the lead.
“I was hitting it in the right spots and making the putts,” Lamb said. “It really wasn’t anything crazy, I just kind of did everything well. I just had the one bogey, and nine birdies, you’re going to take that every time.”
Lamb is making his 70th Korn Ferry Tour start this week. In 2016, he earned his only Korn Ferry Tour title at the LECOM Health Challenge en route to earning his PGA TOUR card.
This season, he has made four cuts in seven starts and currently ranks 125th on the points list. The University of Tennessee product began the year with conditional status but has earned additional starts through his play this season.
“I started the year with conditional status and am happy to be in the shuffle playing every event,” he said. “I played alright last week, and it’s just been kind of a mixed bag. I’ve missed a few cuts by one or two shots, so I feel like my game has been there. I just haven’t really scored that well this year.”
Arnold and Vázquez sit T3 after posting 7-under 65s on Thursday. Taylor Moore, Dan McCarthy, Michael Arnaud, Matthew Campbell, José de Jesús Rodríguez, Martin Piller, Daniel Sutton and Dawson Armstrong sit two strokes back in a tie for fifth.
* Thursday’s weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 89. Wind S/SE at 5-10 mph.
* This week’s purse is $650,000 with $117,000 going to the champion. The winner will also receive 500 Korn Ferry Tour points.
* Max McGreevy’s 8-under 64 was good for the lowest first round of his Korn Ferry Tour career. This also marks the first time he’s held a share of the lead after 18 holes.
* McGreevy’s first-round 64 was only his second opening round in the 60s this season. Last week, he shot an opening-round 67 en route to a T9 finish.
* In 2016, Rick Lamb captured his first Korn Ferry Tour title at the LECOM Health Challenge. That week, he earned a spot in the field through open qualifying and is the last open qualifier to win a Korn Ferry Tour event.
* This marks the first time that Lamb has held a share of the 18-hole lead on the Korn Ferry Tour.
* Two of the 12 18-hole leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win this season. Will Zalatoris most recently converted a share of the first-round lead into a win at the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes.
* Jamie Arnold’s (T3, -7) 7-under 65 was good for his lowest opening-round of the season.
* Sebastián Vázquez is making his seventh start at the Price Cutter Charity Championship and has only missed the cut once in his career.
* Despite missing his last six cuts, Michael Arnaud sits T5 after an opening-round, 6-under 66.
* With a victory this week, Davis Riley (T12, -5) would become the 12th player in Tour history to earn a “Battlefield Promotion” to the PGA TOUR. Wesley Bryan was the most recent player to accomplish the feat in 2016. Riley earned his second victory of the season at last week’s TPC San Antonio Championship at the Oaks.
* Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo withdrew during the opening round due to a wrist injury.
* The par-4 12th hole (440 yards) ranked as the toughest hole on the course on Thursday with a scoring average of 4.171.
* The par-5 first hole (547 yards) ranked as the easiest hole on Thursday with a scoring average of 4.428.
Information provided by Korn Ferry Tour Media