December 9th 2019
Rob Labritz Shoots Bogey-Free 66, Leads Event No. 3 In PGA Tournament Series
By CRAIG DOLCH
Special to PGA of America
PORT ST. LUCIE (Dec. 9, 2019) – Shooting a 66 never seems easy, but Rob Labritz made it look that way Monday.
Labritz made six birdies and no bogeys on the Ryder Course for a 6-under 66 that gave him a one-shot lead over Rich Berberian Jr., Brian Coe and John Cassidy after the first round of Event No. 3 of the PGA Tournament Series at PGA Golf Club.
“I don’t think I missed a green,” said Labritz, the PGA Director of Golf at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y. “I hit the ball well and made a few putts. It was pretty stress free.”
Labritz was the low PGA Professional at this year’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. The confidence of playing well in a major championship continues to carry over.
“Anytime you have success on a big stage like that it feeds your confidence,” Labritz said. “A bunch of quarters got thrown in my jar. I’m still doing the same things at 48 as I’ve been doing out here for a long time.”
Berberian made four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 13th hole, where he hit a 7-iron from 205 yards to 8 feet, to offset a bogey. Berberian finished third in Event No. 1 when he shot rounds of 78-66 and also didn’t miss a green Monday.
"I kept it in play and I really didn’t struggle,” said Berberian, the PGA Director of Instruction at Vesper Country Club in Tynsborough, Mass. “My only bogey was a three-putt.”
Berberian won the 2016 PGA Professional Championship and was the 2016 and 2017 PGA Professional Player of the Year. Surprisingly, he has never won a tournament in Florida.
“Typically, Bermuda is not my finest subject,” Berberian said of the type of grass found throughout Florida. “And it’s usually a little windier here from what I’m used to. It would be nice to finally pull out a win in Florida.”
Coe, from Dallas, had seven birdies and two bogeys. Cassidy from Silverton, Ore., had a bogey-free 67.
Five players are tied for fifth place with 68s: Mark Brown of Oyster Bay, N.Y., Frank Bensel from Jupiter, Tyler Collet from Vero Beach, David Damesworth from Orlando and Jeffrey Schmid from Iowa City, Iowa.
Dylan Newman, who won the first two events last week, shot 69 and is tied for 10th place.
The PGA Tournament Series is presented by GolfAdvisor.com.