Wow!! What a day! After a last-minute course change late last night the players were thrown a bit of a monkey wrench, but that seemed to be no problem whatsoever. After some early morning showers, the forecast was able to hold off any rain delays and the first round was completed with no issues of delay.
The round started off with a tribute to the late Billy “Shack” Wilson, who passed away suddenly in October of 2020. Shack was a founding member of The Reunion Club, a mentor, and father/ father figure to each member of the group. Shack was known for his love of playing with different color golf balls during his round. Most notably when he nailed his first and only ace of his career at TPC TAMPA with a neon yellow ball. And so, as a tribute to his life each player used a colored ball on the first tee in his honor.
Although there was no warmup session due to the weather, the players wasted no time burning up the course. We saw 11/12 players finish with a net score in the 80s with the top 4 players all breaking 84! Confidence could not be higher as each player in the tournament still has a legitimate chance to win after day 1.
Dunes West proved to be well groomed and well suited for the eye of our higher handicap players. This is the first time in TRC history that not one of the Tier 1 players will be teeing off with the lead group on Day 2! This is also the first time in TRC history that there was no net score above 100 and it’s not even close as the highest score sits at a net 91. If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, you’re thinking right. This is certainly no coincidence as Dunes West played nearly 6,000 total yards with only a few water hazards in play. But hey, guys still had to go out and take care of their business. I’m sure the Competition Committee will review the scores and look to regulate the degree of difficulty of each course over the next couple days. But until then, a tip of the hat to everyone that shot their lowest ever TRC round today!
Big congrats to our best ball champions, Wes and Kevin who shot a net 81 and 83 respectively. They edged out the Taylor boys who once again fall short in this event that seems to haunt them year after year.
Everyone had a fantastic round however Bryce, Kevin, and Brent all seemed to shine the brightest on day 1. When asked about the record low scoring, Black simply dismissed the notion of course difficulty, and attributed the success of the golfers to hard work and dedication. “It’s more of a testament to the work that everyone has put in. Guys taking it seriously, trying to peak at the right time. Practicing with a purpose.” Black was also asked about his approach going into Day 2 with the lead for the first time ever. “I’m just going to stick with my goals,” he said. “There were goals I wanted to accomplish coming into the tournament. I’m not going to get caught up in what other guys are doing. I know what I need to do to accomplish my goals and that’s what I’m focusing on.” We also caught up with T3 player on the leader board, Bryce Taylor, and asked him how he felt after his best round in TRC tournament history. “My goal is to make a lot of people sad as fuck and I accomplished that goal today.” He held no punches as he specifically mentioned Cuco Santana, a T1 player who was picked by many to win the tournament this year, who now finds himself playing in the bottom group going into Day 2. When asked about a controversial article that was published only days before the event that included a tournament breakdown and results predictions, Doelling told us that he used it as motivation to come out and perform well from the start. “I’m okay with it, I enjoy playing with a chip on my shoulder. Got the article in my Lock Screen.” We also asked Doelling how he planned to approach the 19th hole this year given that he has a chance to win the tournament after day 1. “I’ve struggled with the idea of maturing. I’m not going to lie. I’ve made mistakes at more than just golf tournaments and take things too far at times. This year I’m here to win, I’m focused and I’m going to take that step. If I fall out of contention, I’m going off, but I brought my red polo for Sunday's round.”
Day 2 or “moving day”, always presents a unique challenge for the players at this tournament. For some of them it will be there 3rd round of golf in 3 days. Day 2 is also the first round where they will be challenged with battling the side effects of a long night of binge drinking with little to no sleep. Day 2 will certainly separate the men from the boys.
With that being said, we got a clear and sunny day that should be right around a comfortable 80 degrees! Let’s play some golf!
Day 1 Leaderboard
4. Bryce-83 Wes-83
5. Blake-85 Joey-85