PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (Dec. 3) -- Matt Dobyns isn’t leaving much to chance.
Dobyns, who leads in the OMEGA PGA Professional Player of the Year standings, rattled off eight birdies in 10 holes Thursday to take the first-round lead with an 8-under 64 in Event No. 2 of the PGA Tournament Series.
Dobyns made pars on his first four holes and last four holes, but was brilliant in between. Starting at the par-5 fifth on the Dye Course at PGA Golf Club, he made three consecutive birdies, a par, three more birdies, a par and added two more birdies.
Dobyns, who had never seen the Dye Course until a practice round Wednesday, leads by a shot over Benjamin Engle (65).
"I was kind of sleepy early in the round because I’m not used to playing at 7:40,” said Dobyns, the Head PGA Professional at Fresh Meadow Golf Club in Lake Success, N.Y. “But I got a feel for my swing and that’s a course where you can get some wedges in your hand. I did some damage on the par-5s and threw in a few more birdies.”
Dobyns leads Bob Sowards and Alan Morin by 186 points and could clinch Player of the Year with a win Friday. The PGA Tournament Series is worth 25 points for a win, and the player with lowest stroke average receives 100 bonus points.
Engle, who has been a PGA Apprentice Pro at the Woodstock Club in Indianapolis for the last two years, made seven birdies and no bogeys in a round that could have been lower had he not parred both par-5s on the back nine.
“I hit it real well and when I missed a green, the putter bailed me out,” Engle said. “I made consecutive 25- to 30-footers for par on 12 and birdie on 13.”
Micheal Meisenzahl of Medford, N.J. shares third with Shaun Powers of Greenwich, Ct., after 67s.
Sowards, a four-time Player of the Year winner, is tied for fifth with a 68. Sowards is resigned to finishing second.
“I figured if Matt didn’t come down (to South Florida), I was probably going to have to win four tournaments to catch him,” Sowards said. “That’s not going to happen now.”
Ben Polland, who won Event No. 1, shot 72 and is tied for 33rd place.
The PGA Tournament Series is sponsored by Golf Advisor.
Thursday’s first-round scores from Event No. 2 of the PGA Tournament Series on the par-72 Dye Course at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie:
Matt Dobyns, Lake Success, N.Y. 32-32–64
Benjamin Engle, Indianapolis, Ind. 32-33–65
Michael Meisenzahl, Medford, N.J. 31-36–67
Shaun Powers, Greenwich, Conn. 34-33–67
Bob Sowards, Dublin, Ohio 34-34–68
Tim Weinhart, Johns Creek, Ga. 32-36–68
Anthony Aruta, Staten Island, N.Y. 33-35–68
Brian Norman, The Colony, Texas 34-34–68
Scott Schulte, Harrison Township, Mich. 33-35–68
Jim Troy, Portage, Mich. 35-34–69
Jeff Sorenson, Blaine, Minn. 33-36–69
Derek Sanders, Destrehan, La. 32-37–69
Carl Cooper, Humble, Texas 34-35–69
Wyatt Worthington, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 35-34–69
Adam Larkin, North Bellmore, N.Y. 32-38–70
Yong Joo, Bristow, Va. 35-35–70
Marshall Talkington, Jackson, Tenn. 36-34–70
Shane Kowal, Woodstock, Ga. 34-36–70
Rob Labritz, Pound Ridge, N.Y. 36-34–70
Andrew Shiflet, Asheboro, N.C. 34-36–70
Frank Bensel, Jupiter, Fla. 34-36–70
Joshua Rackley, Jupiter, Fla. 38-33–71
Pete Catanzaro, Stamford, Conn. 33-38–71
Daniel Augustine, Castle Pines, Colo. 37-34–71
Richard Terga, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 34-37–71
Jeffrey Schmid, Columbia, Mo. 32-39–71
Scott Berliner, Queensbury, N.Y. 37-34–71
Lon Nielsen, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 36-35–71
Daniel Urban, Howell, Mich. 36-35–71
Adam Scrimenti, Pompano Beach, Fla. 35-36–71
Roy Vucinich, Moon Township, Pa. 34-37–71
Dakun Chang, Long Grove, Ill. 35-36–71
Micah Rudosky, Cortez, Colo. 37-35–72
Kyle Bilodeau, West Hartford, Conn. 34-38–72
Matthew Sheperd, Nantucket, Mass. 35-37–72
Danny Lewis, Morrow, Ohio 35-37–72
Eric Smith, Plano, Texas 35-37–72
Ben Polland, Manhasset, N.Y. 36-36–72
Gregory McClimans, Clearwater, Fla. 37-35–72
Troy Pare, Seekonk, Mass. 40-32–72
Dwayne Randall, Clymer, N.Y. 37-35–72
Corey McAlarney, Forest City, Pa. 37-35–72
Austin Gaugert, Lake Geneva, Wis. 36-36–72
Blake Brookman, Seaford, Va. 36-36–72
Mike Vance, Jackson, Tenn. 36-36–72
Rich Berberian, Derry, N.H. 35-37–72
Frank Dully, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 36-36–72
Brett Melton, Washington, Ind. 36-37–73
Shawn Warren, Cape Elizabeth, Maine 34-39–73
Adam Kolloff, Hoboken, N.J. 36-37–73
Andrew Bostrom, North Caldwell, N.J. 37-36–73
Matt Noel, Jupiter, Fla. 38-35–73
Jim Schuman, Scottsdale, Ariz. 39-34–73
John Connelly, Maumee, Ohio 38-35–73
Mike Larkin, Harrison, N.Y. 40-33–73
JC Anderson, O'Fallon, Mo. 37-36–73
Ari Papadopoulos, Avon, Colo. 34-40–74
Mark Summerville, Jupiter, Fla. 36-38–74
Ryan Kalista, Greenwich, Conn. 35-39–74
James Giampaolo, Torrington, Conn. 36-38–74
Gayle Leslie, Miami, Fla. 35-39–74
Patrick Massi, Greenwich, Conn. 35-39–74
Peter Kampmann, Riverside, Conn. 40-34–74
Omar Uresti, Austin, Texas 37-37–74
Steve Parker, Houston, Texas 37-38–75
Matthew Belizze, Bay Shore, N.Y. 35-40–75
John Lynch, Vero Beach, Fla. 36-39–75
Kent St. Charles, Mount Vernon, N.Y. 35-40–75
Joshua Fritz, Port St. Lucie, Fla. 40-36–76
Bill Murchison, Canton, Ga. 38-39–77
Mike Demakos, Port St. Lucie, Fla. 37-40–77
Mark Faulkner, Marion, Ill. 40-37–77
Richard Kelly, Oceanside, N.Y. 37-41–78
Ryan McClintock, Bettendorf, Iowa 40-38–78
Kyle Higgins, Massapequa, N.Y. 39-40–79
Mike Furey, Summit Hill, Pa. 37-42–79
Micah Destival, Dike, Iowa 40-39–79
Brandon Myers, Danube, Minn. 42-39–81
Mark Braziller, Brooklyn, N.Y. 39-45–84
Fred Blumenstock, Boonton, N.J. 39-45–84
Tony Frabizzio, Fairfield, Conn. 43-42–85
Michael Adkins, West Palm Beach, Fla. 41-46–87
G. Sean Schley, Blacklick, Ohio 43-46–89
Jason Day on the sidelines for Packers-Lions game, making him the first person ever to skip a trip to the Bahamas in favor of Detroit.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) December 4, 2015
Citing a source "close to Rory McIlroy," the Irish Independent is reporting that the 26-year-old, four-time major champion is now engaged to girlfriend Erica Stoll.
Stoll, 27, is a former employee of the PGA of America who was instrumental in famously getting McIlroy a police escort to make his singles match at Medinah just in time at the 2012 Ryder Cup, where the Europeans roared back for an incredible comeback win.
McIlroy and Stoll reportedly began dating roughly a year ago, just months after McIlroy called off his engagement to tennis star, Caroline Wozniacki.
Stoll was recently by McIlroy's side in photos following his Race to Dubai win in late November.
Via his Instagram account, McIlroy posted a photo on Wednesday of the Eiffel Tower in Paris leading many to wonder if that's where the former world No. 1 popped the question.
If reports from the Irish Independent are true, Rory McIlroy is now engaged to girlfriend Erica Stoll.
A photo posted by Rory McIlroy (@rorymcilroy) on
Jordan Spieth wasted no time getting off to a fast start in his title defense at the Hero World Challenge. He aced the second hole.
Jordan Spieth is the defending champion in the Hero World Challenge, taking place this week in the Bahamas.
There are great ways to begin a title defense -- like maybe a chip-in, or birdie in the first couple of holes. Or, you could do what the world's No. 1 player did on Thursday: Ace the second hole.
Spieth used a 6-iron from 172 yards out to do this:
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) December 3, 2015
PGA of America Championships
Baltusrol Golf Club
Hazeltine National Golf Club
Trump National Golf Club
Olympia Fields Country Club
Olympia Fields, Illinois
Quail Hollow Club
Charlotte, North Carolina