First Posted: 10/31/2013
(AP) Trent Rommann shot a 5-under 67 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Assistant Championship.
The 30-year-old Rommann, a PGA assistant professional at Crestview Country Club in Wichita, Kan., had seven birdies and two bogeys on PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course.
Rommann began play on the back nine and birdied his opening hole, the par-4 10th. He bogeyed the par-4 12th, but bounced back with birdies on three of his next four holes.
“I got started quickly and played really well all day,” Rommann said. “I made a little mistake on 12, but got right back on track.”
He birdied three of the four par 5s and closed with birdies on three of the final four holes.
“I was able to make birdies on the holes you can take advantage of here and it also helped that I putted well,” Rommann said. “And if you want to keep up with the guys out here, you have to go low.”
Dennis Downs of Surprise, Ariz., was a stroke back along with Adam Gary of Bowling Green, Ky.; Jeff Schmid of Columbia, Mo.; Jeff Seavey of Homosassa, Fla.; and Shawn Warren of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
Logan Watts earned $25,000 with a hole-in-one. The 24-year-old PGA apprentice at Louisville (Ky.) Country Club used a 4-iron on the 214-yard 17th hole. He finished with 69.
“I hit it right on the screws,” Watts said. “As soon as I hit it I go, ‘Uh oh, boys, this one’s got a chance.’ But the sun had started coming down so we couldn’t see the actual hole.”
His initial thought after making the ace was simple.
“I get to move out of my parent’s house,” Watts said. “I was shaking so bad that I had to walk all the way up to the next tee and back to collect myself.”
Two-time champion Frank Bensel of Purchase, N.Y., also opened with a 69.
Ashley Grier of Hagerstown, Md., the first female player to compete in the event since 2011, shot a 71.
The tournament winner will receive $9,000 and a spot in the PGA Professional National Championship in June in Myrtle Beach, S.C.