Kramer Hickok leads Web.com Tour Finals event
BEECHWOOD, Ohio (AP) — Kramer Hickok shot a 7-under 63 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the DAP Championship, the second of four Web.com Tour Finals events that will determine 25 PGA Tour cards.
Hickok had eight birdies and a bogey to match the course record at Canterbury Golf Club. The 26-year-old former Texas player already earned a PGA Tour card with a 23rd-place finish on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list. He was the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada player of the year last season.
Hickock missed a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th, leaving him tied with Bobby Wyatt’s for the course record. Wyatt set the mark in the 2016 event.
“I had no idea,” Hickok said. “I really wanted it to drop. I actually misread it a little bit. I hit my line perfectly, but it went a little right on me. It would’ve been cool to set the record, but I’ll take 63.”
Justin Hueber was a stroke back, and Adam Schenk, Stephan Jaeger and Eric Axley shot 66. Defending champion Nicholas Lindheim and five-time PGA Tour winner Ben Crane topped the group at 67.
“It’s a fresh start, it’s kind of nice,” Hueber said. “I didn’t play the last five events very well and it kind of feels like a new season where anything goes. You have four chances to play well.”
Robert Streb had a 69. He won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio, to regain full PGA Tour status.
The series features the top 75 players — Hueber was 42nd — from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 — Lindheim was 146th, Crane 148th, Schenk 157th, Jaeger 165th and Axley 217th — in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings; and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200.
Hickok and the other top-25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. Hickok jumped from 23rd to 13th last week in Ohio with a tie for 14th.
“I feel like I have nothing to lose,” Hickok said. “I can go miss every cut and be in the same position as where I started. The only way is up for me right now and anytime you can play golf stress-free, you’re going to play your best. Hopefully I can continue to do that the next three days.”
The other players are fighting for 25 cards based on series earnings.