SPRINGDALE — Josh Farrell and Matt Willmott began the 79th annual Dwight Collins Chick-A-Tee Invitational strong Friday afternoon at the Springdale Country Club.
The two will enter the second day with a share of the lead after shooting 67s, one stroke ahead of Bryon Shumate and Jacob Bartel. Farrell and Willmott took differing routes on their way to 5-under as Farrell, who was bogey-free, methodically sunk two birdies on the front nine and three on the back.
79th Annual Dwight Collins Chick-A-Tee Invitational
WHEN June 16-18
WHERE Springdale Country Club
First Round Results
“I had a relatively uneventful round,” said Farrell, a Dallas native and former University of Arkansas, Fayetteville golfer. “I was able to avoid trouble of a couple of times and keep from making bogeys. I got a good break on No. 14. I hit a bad tee shot and was able to make par, but I didn’t really make any putts.”
The one putt he’ll remember, though, from Friday’s round came on his last hole of the day on the par-4 18th hole. Farrell watched a 25-footer fall to give him birdie to close day one. Farrell finished 3-under on par 5s and closed his round with birdies on the par-4 17th and 18th holes.
Willmott, a Harrison native, began his day on the par-4 fourth hole and was one-over heading into the last half of his round. But he turned his day around quickly with a streak of five straight birdies. He then birdied the par-5 second hole and parred the third hole to card a 67.
“I felt like I could see the line on every putt. Sometimes you just have those days where you can see the line and think you can make every one of them,” said Willmott, four-under on par 5s. “Obviously, I’m probably not going to birdie six out of seven holes (Saturday), so my hope is to keep it in play, hit the greens and see what happens.”
His best shot of the day came on the 16th during his birdie run. Willmott ended up behind a tree from around 130 yards out, but a 4-iron shot later, he wound up six feet from the hole.
Bartel, who finished day one with a four-under 68, used driver and 9-iron to card an eagle on the par-5 12th hole to highlight his round. Admittedly, he said he hadn’t played many rounds leading up to Friday, but his approach on No. 12, which laid up three feet from the pin, has him solidly in a tie for second.
“I had fun. I always enjoy coming to play the Chick-A-Tee,” Bartel said. “I thought it went pretty well. I’m here to just to have fun. I’m not worried about the score. I’m here with a bunch of buddies, and I’ve met some nice people up here. It’s always fun to enjoy the tournament. Whatever happens, happens.”
Overall, 11 golfers finished day one at even-par 72 or better, including defending champion Brett Granata (70).
Sports on 06/17/2017