Former Bonanza star continues success at Dayton Valley, is tied for lead after first round of PGA Tour Qualifying
DAYTON — Slow play and high scores were the trend during the first round of PGA Tour Qualifying at Dayton Valley Country Club. And former Las Vegas Bonanza High star Billy Harvey also continued his trend of outstanding rounds at Dayton Valley with a 5-under 67 on Tuesday, putting him in a tie with Brad Sutterfield atop the leader board going into today’s second round.
Brian Cooper and Will C. Collins are both one shot back of the leaders at 4-under. In all, 25 players shot below par on Tuesday. The top 21 players following Friday’s final round will advance to the second stage of qualifying. Right now, the cut would be 1-under, which would leave Washoe Valley’s Steve Sear on the outside looking in. Sear shot an ever par 72 on Tuesday.
Most of the low scores were shot by players who had early morning tee times and didn’t have to battle the wind, which picked up around noon.
“The wind was definitely a factor today,” said PGA Tour official Jamie Conkling. “It picked up around 11:30. The course is playing tough and the wind is coming out of the east so it makes 16, 17, 18 really tough. The scores are higher than last year.”
The windy conditions didn’t really matter to Harvey, who was one of the last players to finish. Last May, Harvey won his second Nevada State Amateur and also qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship all in the same week at Dayton Valley C.C., playing five tournament rounds at 26-under par. Harvey, who led Bonanza to its only state title in 1996, is showing no signs of slowing up this week.
In fact, the only slow thing yesterday was how long it took to play a round of golf. Most players were averaging around 5 1/2 hours per round. The final group finished around 4:30 p.m. Round duration, though, should drop as the week continues and more players realize they have don’t have a shot at qualifying.
“With the pressure they have, 5 1/2 hours isn’t really too bad,” Conkling said. “It’ll be faster by the end of the week.”
Sear is the only Northern Nevadan competing this week but the Las Vegas area has eight representatives. James Drew is doing the best as he fired a 2-under 70. Jeremy Anderson, who was a two-time All America at UNLV but now resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., also shot a 70.
Anderson, who has made only $2,157 this season on the Buy.Com Tour, was a member of the 1998 UNLV NCAA Championship team. In 2001, he made eight of 28 cuts on the PGA Tour, including a tie for 23rd at the Michelob Championship.
Las Vegas’ Bobby Elliot is two shots back of the cut at 2-over and Michael Kirk three shots back at 3-over.
Both Sear and Harvey have early morning tee times today. On Tuesday, frost delayed tee times and today’s tee times have been pushed back 30 minutes from the original scheduled times to help prevent further delays.