Low Scores Lead Way at Florida Open
It was a foggy morning as 156 of Florida's top professional and amateur golfers teed it up for the first round of the 71st Florida Open. The field was split between the two courses offered at Black Diamond Ranch, the Quarry Course and the Ranch Course. Known for its picturesque, yet difficult back nine, the Quarry Course proved to be a test of even the most elite's game. Showing the field they could handle the Ranch Course with ease was professional golfer, Gyles Robin.
A native of Fort Myers, Gyles Robin began his round better than most with an eagle on the par-five 10th hole to get off to one of the hottest starts in the field. After two pars on the 11th and 12th holes, Robin proceeded to birdie the 13th and 14th to get to four-under par through his first five holes. However, with late bogeys on the 16th and 18th holes, Robin would make the turn at two-under par. Knowing the Ranch Course would play easier than the Quarry Course, Robin lit up the front side to propel himself to the top of the leaderboard. After birdieing his tenth hole of the day, the par-four first hole, Gyles would go on to make his second eagle of the day on the 500 yard, par-five, third hole. With an uncharacteristic bogey on the par-three fifth, Robin would go on to birdie three of his last four holes to shoot an impressive five-under par, 31. Overall, Gyles Robin had only seven pars en route to his seven-under par, 65, opening round of the 71st Florida Open. Robin will cross the street as he will play the difficult Quarry Course tomorrow at 9:10 A.M. off the first tee.
The hottest round coming from the Quarry Course this morning was from the University of Florida's head men's golf coach, J.C. Deacon. Showing the field that the Quarry Course was no match for a Gator, Deacon began his round with four consecutive pars before carding an eagle on the par-five, 15th hole. Following his eagle with two more birdies, Deacon made the turn with a bogey-free, 32. His four-under par score after nine would sit him at the top of the leaderboard for at least a couple of hours. Yet, after a surprising bogey on the first hole, Deacon would drop back to three-under par. With knowing a solid score on the Quarry Course would give him a fighting chance for the top spot after the first 36 holes of competition, Deacon fought back and added three more birdies to his scorecard to finish the first round with a six-under par, 66. Playing the Ranch Course tomorrow, Deacon will set the pace with the 7:30 A.M. starting time off of the first tee.
Leading the field of amateurs after the first round is University of Florida golfer, Blake Dyer. Dyer, a St. Petersburg native, began his round on the tenth hole. After an early bogey on the 12th hole, Dyer would get himself to one-under par at the turn with an eagle at the 18th hole. With birdies on the second and fifth and a bogey on the third, Dyer would get to his final hole of the round at two-under. With an impressive birdie on the par-five ninth hole, Dyer would finish his round with a three-under par, 69. Dyer sits in eighth place, four strokes back of the leader, Gyles Robin, and three strokes back of his head coach, J.C. Deacon.
2011 Florida Open Champion, Rod Perry, sits in a tie for 76th place after an opening round of 75 with the defending champion as well as 2014 Florida Open Champion, Caleb Johnson. The best finish of a past champion came from 2003 Champion, Joe Alfieri, who finished his first round on the Quarry Round with a one-under par, 71.
Shooting a one-under par, 71, also is the 63rd Boys' Junior Champion, Fred Biondi. After breaking the all-time scoring record in the 16-18 division last week, Biondi would card five birdies and four bogeys in his opening round to sit in a tie for 16th place. Biondi tees it up tomorrow on the Ranch Course at 8:50 A.M. off the first tee.
After the opening round of the 71st Florida Open, it is professional Gyles Robin who leads the field but UF Head Coach, J.C. Deacon is chomping at his heels. Tee times for the second round of the Florida Open will begin at 7:30 A.M. off the first and tenth tees.
Spectators and media are welcome to attend the championship, however Live Scoring will be available after each nine holes.