PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Richard Terga and Dakun Chang got off to fast starts, but the real winner Monday in the first round of Event No. 1 of the PGA Tournament Series was the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club.
Thanks to breezy conditions, nobody in the 69-player field shot in the 60s. Terga, Chang and Wyatt Worthington II – who last year became the second African American club professional to qualify for the PGA Championship – shared the lead with 2-under 70s.
“I’m a little surprised. I thought somebody might shoot 68 or 69,” said Chang, who works at Twin Orchard Country Club in Long Grove, Ill. “I was 3-under early, but made bogeys on 8 and 9 with wedges. Just silly mistakes.”
LEADERBOARD: Check out scores from the first event of the PGA Tournament Series
Terga, who teaches in the winter at John Webster Golf Academy at The Breakers in Palm Beach, birdied his first two holes. He made a double bogey at the third hole, but regained those two shots with an eagle at the par-5 seventh hole, where he hit a 5-iron to 6 feet.
“I thought I was going to shoot 4- or 5-under the way I started, but it didn’t pan out that way,” Terga said. “I was still happy with the way I played.”
Worthington, a Reynoldsville Ohio native who qualified for the PGA Championship at Baltusrol by finishing sixth at the PGA Professional Championship, had five birdies against three bogeys. He would have shot the lone score in the 60s, but missed a short putt for par on the final hole.
“It was a tough day out there,” Worthington said. “The wind started picking up as the day went on and some of the pin positions weren’t attainable unless you took some aggressive lines.”
Four players were a shot back with 71s: Greg Matthias of Jupiter, C.J. Konkowski of West Chesterfield, N.H., Zac Oakley of Palm City and Kyle Higgins of Massapequa, N.Y.
Seven players, including Nathalie Filler of Bloomfield, Ct. – the only woman in the field – were two back at 72. She played the Wanamaker at 5,843 yards; the men were at 6,971.
Twenty-six players are within four shots of the lead entering Tuesday’s final round. The winner receives $5,000.
“It will probably take a 68 or a 69 to win,” Chang said.
The PGA Tournament Series, which consists of six events, is presented by Golf Advisor.