Brett Melton, Rod Perry, Mike Ballo lead Event No. 5 of PGA Tournament Series presented By Golf Advisor

Rod Perry
USA Today Sports Images
Rod Perry, 2013 PGA Professional Champion, has a share of the lead after the first round of Event No. 5 of PGA Tournament Series presented By Golf Advisor.
By
Craig Dolch
Special to The PGA of America

Series: PGA

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 | 5:09 p.m.

PORT ST. LUCIE (Dec. 14, 2017) -- After finishing 10th earlier this week despite playing the par-5s in 1-over par, Brett Melton knew what he needed to work on.

“I made a point to work on my wedge game and play the par-5s a little smarter,” said Melton, a PGA Assistant Professional at Radley Run Country Club in West Chester, Pa. “I played well enough to win this week, but you can’t win when you play the par-5s like that.”

RELATED: Event No. 5 of PGA Tournament Series leaderboard

Melton’s extra work paid off Thursday when he played the par-5s in 5-under to shoot a 4-under 68 Thursday and tie Rod Perry of Port Orange and Mike Ballo of Stamford, Ct., for the first-round lead in Event No. 5 of the PGA Tournament Series at PGA Golf Club.

Melton had three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 seventh hole on the Wanamaker Course. He eagled the seventh hole when he hit a 3-wood from 245 yards to 10 feet.

“The ball landed just short of the green and ran up near the hole,” said Melton, who has won two PGA Tournament Series events. “It makes a huge difference when you play the par-5s like that.”

Perry and Bello each made five birdies and a bogey. Perry, who has a pair of runner-up finishes this year in the PGA Tournament Series, is fifth on the money list with $5,857 – Danny Balin leads with $8,817 – as Perry tries to win the money title for the third time.

Frank Bensel of Jupiter, who was second in Event No. 3, is alone in fourth at 69.

Five players are tied for fifth with 70s: Danny Lewis, Caleb Wilson, Jim Schuman, David Damesworth and Andrew Filbert, who was the South Florida PGA’s Player of the Year.

The PGA Tournament Series is presented by Golf Advisor.