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Lowe trying to make the most of a PPC home game

Mitch Lowe trying to make the most of a PPC home game

SEASIDE, Calif. -- Everybody loves a home game.

And that's pretty much what 51-year-old Mitch Lowe has himself this week in the 51st PGA Professional Championship at Bayonet Black Horse, even if he's not sleeping in his own bed.

Lowe is a professional out of TPC Harding Park a couple of hours down the road in San Francisco, but with all the golf he's played in Monterey, it's like being home. 

In the first round of the PPC on Sunday, Lowe carded an even-par 72 at Black Horse that had him four strokes behind early leader Jaysen Hansen.

"It's always nice coming down to Monterey," said Lowe, who finished T7 here in 2012 -- his second-best PPC finish. "In our section, we've played here so many times. The course is set up a little differently for a tournament like this -- more difficult -- but is there a better place to play? I don't think so. This is great."

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Playing the back nine first, Lowe had birdies on his opening hole, as well as the 14th to go out in 2-under 34. 

The back nine included a bogey on 2 and a birdie on 3. He went to the 17th tee at 2 under for the day, but bogeyed the final two holes for the 72.

"I bogeyed the last two holes, so that's not sitting very well with me right now, but I played pretty solid," he said. "It would have been nice to finish under par going over to Bayonet tomorrow. It looked like Bayonet -- based on the scores -- was playing a little tougher, so it would have been nice to finish better."

All told, Lowe has played in four PGA Championships, most recently at Baltusrol in 2016. 

Being that he's so used to golf in this part of the country, it wouldn't be surprising to make it a handful of PGA Championship starts in August.

"I do think I have an advantage having played so much in this area," he said. "The greens are going to be really firm and if the wind stays up the rest of the week, you have to know where to miss it. You have to know which holes locations to go after and which you don't. You can really short-side yourself and get in trouble. I think course knowledge is going to help a lot. For sure."