Sowards, French, Schmid share lead in Event No. 3 of PGA Tournament Series

By Craig Dolch
Published on

PORT ST. LUCIE — Bob Sowards played his last eight holes in 5-under Thursday to shoot a 4-under 68 and share the first-round lead in Event No. 3 of the PGA Tournament Series at PGA Golf Club.

Sowards was 1-over after 10 holes, but made an eagle with a chip-in at No. 13 and three birdies on the back nine of the Ryder Course to share the lead with Chris French of Loves Park, Ill., and Jeffrey Schmid of Iowa City.

“I made a terrible bogey on 10 and just got hot from there,” said Sowards, the PGA Professional at Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club in Powell, Ohio. “It was very cold this morning and the ball wasn’t going anywhere.”

MORE: Live scores for Event No. 3 of the PGA Tournament Series

Schmid was bogey free, making his four birdies on the back nine. French had eight birdies to offset two bogeys and a double bogey.

Sowards finished 18th in last week’s final stage of q-school for the PGA Tour Champions. He was a bad round away from finishing in the top five and earning exempt status.

“I have a lot of confidence,” said Sowards, who has won eight PGA Tournament Series events to rank seventh and captured this fall’s Senior PGA Professional Championship. “I feel like I can play with anyone.”

Frank Bensel of Jupiter is fourth at 69 and six players are tied for fifth with 70s: Omar Uresti, Dick Mast, Brett Walker, Casey Pyne, Kyle Baehler and Mike Genovese.

The winner after Friday’s round receives $5,000.

The PGA Tournament Series is presented by