Phillips, Chhim, Fleming off to good starts in pursuit of spots in PGA Championship field

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AUSTIN, Texas (April 17, 2022) 一 Tyler Collet leads the 2022 PGA Professional Championship after one round, but as noteworthy as that is, it does not provide full context.

Collet carded a 6-under 65, good for a one-stroke lead over a grouping of six ー Trevor Bensel, Brandon Bingaman, Aaron Black, Jared Jones, Austin Hurt and Casey Pyne. Seventeen players are within two shots of the lead, including Tracy Phillips of Tulsa, who is in a large group at 4-under after a first-round 66 on the Coore Crenshaw Course at Omni Barton Creek.

What made Collet’s round remarkable is that it came on the Championship’s primary course, Fazio Foothills, which is the more difficult of the two tests at Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas.

Official yardage puts the Fazio Foothills (par 71) 397 yards longer than its sister course, Coore Crenshaw (par 70). And while both courses offer elevation changes that would physically challenge any of the 312 PGA Professionals in the field, Fazio Foothills played approximately 2.5 shots harder in round 1.

Tracy Phillips hits his shot from the fifth tee during the first round of the 54th PGA Professional Championship at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa on April 17, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America)

What’s more is that 13 of the top 17 names on the first-round leaderboard played the more forgiving Coore Crenshaw layout on Easter Sunday.

The field will be trimmed to the low 90 scorers and ties after Monday’s round, with the Fazio Foothills hosting the final two rounds. The low 70 scorers and ties after Tuesday’s third round advance to the final round.

The low 20 scorers earn berths in the 2022 PGA Championship, May 16-22, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Other Oklahomans in the field include Southern Hills assistant professional Cameron Chhim, who shot 2-under at Faziio Foothills and is tied for 31st, and Tim Fleming of Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, who shot 1-under 70 at Fazio Foothills and plays the easier Coore Crenshaw today. Brent Williamson of the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge in Sand Springs shot 2-over 72 at Coore Crenshaw and Shannon Friday of Oklahoma City Golf & CC shot 4-over 74 at Coore-Crenshaw.

The quintet that posted 5-under 65s on the Coore Crenshaw includes Brandon Bingaman, who carded five birdies and no bogeys on the front 9, but three-putted from 35 feet in 18 to lose a share of the lead.

The afternoon’s final group on the Fazio Foothills Course did not finish due to darkness and will complete their first round on Monday morning at 8:45 a.m. CDT before beginning their second round on Coore Crenshaw.

Defending Champion Omar Uresti, who was born, raised and educated in Austin, opened with a one-over 72 on the Fazio Foothills and is seven shots back. Uresti is one of fourteen PGA Professional Champions in the field.

The second round of the 2022 PGA Professional Championship will be broadcast live on Golf Channel on Monday, April 18 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. EDT.

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source