Andrew Dorn Sets Course Record, Takes First-round Lead at Savannah Golf Championship

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

In just the second Korn Ferry Tour start of his career, Andrew Dorn set the new course record with a 9-under 63 at the Savannah Golf Championship to claim the first-round lead. Jake Knapp, Evan Harmeling, Kyle Jones and Mickey DeMorat sit one stroke off the pace after posting 8-under 64s on Thursday at The Landings Club – Deer Creek Course.

In his first Korn Ferry Tour start of the season, Dorn began his opening round with three birdies over his first five holes. After a par on No. 15, his sixth hole of the day, he tallied three consecutive birdies on Nos. 16-18 to make the turn at 6-under.

After pars on Nos. 1 and 2, Dorn took advantage of the par-5 third with an eagle to move to 8-under on the round. On the par-4 fifth, the Coastal Carolina University product tallied his seventh birdie of the day to reach 9-under and take the solo-lead. The 28-year-old closed his opening round with four consecutive pars to set a new course record with a 9-under 63.

“I had no idea it was a course record,” Dorn said after the round. “I was fortunate enough to be hitting it really good on the front side. I was able to scramble a little bit coming in. The greens are awesome. It felt great today.”

This week marks Dorn’s first Korn Ferry Tour start since his Tour debut at the 2016 Visit Knoxville Open. On Monday, he attempted to qualify for a spot in this week’s field but had his round postponed until Tuesday due to inclement weather. Despite the delay, Dorn survived the qualifier to earn a tee time on Thursday. After completing his qualifying round on Tuesday, the Cincinnati, Ohio, native only had one day to prepare for his Savannah Golf Championship debut.

“I was just out here and only getting one practice round in, it almost helps you focus even more,” he said. “It gets you super locked in on where to hit it and cautious of where you need to leave it.”

The last two seasons, Dorn spent most of his time competing on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. With the 2020 Mackenzie Tour season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dorn turned to the LOCALiQ Series for a place to compete this summer.

The LOCALiQ Series, designed primarily for those who are active members of one of the PGA TOUR’s International Tours, is an eight-tournament series, featuring seven 54-hole stroke-play tournaments and a season-ending 72-hole event.

“All of this year, I’ve been playing the LOCALiQ (Series) events and the way that’s set up, we have one practice round before and three tournament days,” he said. “We’re all pretty comfortable playing one practice round and getting to know the course. I’d say these LOCALiQ events helped me get in the rhythm of just playing one practice round and being ready for the next three or four days.”

Knapp, Harmeling, Jones and DeMorat sit one stroke off the pace at 8-under. Knapp, a rookie on the Korn Ferry Tour, opened his first round with three birdies and two eagles on his first nine holes. After a 7-under 29 on the front nine, the 26-year-old played his final nine holes 1-under to finish with an opening-round 64.

Knapp entered the week ranked 125th on the Korn Ferry Tour points list with six made cuts in 17 starts this season. Last year on the Mackenzie Tour, Knapp earned two victories and finished the Order of Merit third behind Paul Barjon and Taylor Pendrith. Entering the week, Pendrith and Barjon ranked second and eighth on the points list, respectively.

“Knowing that we (Barjon and Pendrith) all won last year and were all right around each other and seeing them at the top, it definitely gives me confidence,” Knapp said. “I play practice rounds with Curtis Thompson every week and seeing him win the other week, it lets you know that you can win out here. You need to go in with a mindset of trying to win.”

Harmeling tallied six birdies and an eagle en route to an 8-under 64 on Thursday. The 32-year-old, also in his rookie season on Tour, entered the week ranked 114th on the points list and in search of his first Korn Ferry Tour title.

DeMorat, making his first start in Savannah this week, caught fire on his front nine carding seven birdies to post a 7-under 29 before making the turn. On the back nine, the 25-year-old tallied two birdies against one bogey to finish the opening round in a tie for second at 8-under.

Jones, who won earlier this year at the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank, carded nine birdies against one bogey to post an 8-under 64 on Thursday.

With a victory this week, Jones would join Davis Riley (Panama Championship, TPC San Antonio Championship at the Oaks) and Jared Wolfe (The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at Baha Mar, Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth) as two-times winners on Tour this season.

Second-round tee times will run from 7:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Friday.

 

First-Round Leaderboard

Pos.

Name

Scores

1

Andrew Dorn

63 (-9)

T2

Jake Knapp

64 (-8)

T2

Evan Harmeling  

64 (-8)

T2

Kyle Jones

64 (-8)

T2

Mickey DeMorat

64 (-8)

T6

Seven players tied

65 (-7)

 

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