Koepka Leads at The Patriot All-America Invitational
Litchfield Park, Ariz. – Brooks Koepka fired a four-under par 67 to take the first-round lead at the inaugural Patriot All-America Invitational on the Gold Course at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Ariz. Koepka, who is currently in his senior season at Florida State, is representing Medal of Honor recipient Army Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith.
Weather and course conditions were near perfect on the par 71, 7006 yard Gold Course but Koepka got of to a slow start. He was 1-over after three holes. Koepka would recover with birdies on three of his next four holes, as well as on Nos. 13 and 15.
“I actually got off to a pretty bad start,” said Koepka. “I was 1-over after three and just kind of hung in there and battled it out. I haven’t played too much (recently) and I was just trying to get back in the routine. Luckily I found it in the middle of the round. I managed my way (around course) pretty well. There were certain pins you couldn’t go at and I just put it in the right spots. I putted pretty well today.”
Johannes Veerman is one shot back at 3-under 68. Like Koepka, Veerman started slow and made the turn at one-over. He heated up on the back nine posting three-straight birdies from Nos. 11-13 and another on No. 14. Five players - Austin Quick, Seth Reeves, Carlos Rodriguez, Cory Whitsett, Bobby Wyatt and Andrew Yun - are tied for third at two-under 69. Philip Colwell, Austin Cook, Justin Thomas and Chase Wright are one stroke back in a four-way tie for ninth.
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See video coverage of the 2011 event from ESPN and HDLN here: