Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jonas Blisters Course for 63 at Florida Open; He Just Missed Scoring Mark at Timuquana and Has 3-Shot Lead

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jonas Blisters Course for 63 at Florida Open; He Just Missed Scoring Mark at Timuquana and Has 3-Shot Lead

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

John Jonas called his bogey-free round of 63 at the Timuquana Country Club on Friday in the first round of the Florida Open a combination of being aggressive and conservative.

"I went for the flags when I could, and played it safe when I couldn't," said the Bolles graduate and senior to-be at the College of Charleston.

Playing partner Donnie Hammond had a different take.

"He fired at every flag," said the former Jacksonville University golfer and three-time PGA Tour winner. "He was firing at everything."

Either way, it added up to a score one shot off the course record and a three-shot lead after the first round of the 69th Florida Open.

Jonas, the Colonial Athletic Association individual champion, birdied his first four holes, was 7-under through 10 and finished one shot off the course record of 62 held by former University of Florida player Josh McCumber. Jonas birdied two more holes after that, on a 10-foot putt at No. 14 and a 4-footer at No. 15, and parred the final three holes.

He didn't have much of a look on the final stretch, in stifling heat and humidity, missing 20-foot attempts for birdie at Nos. 16 and 18, and a 60-footer at No. 17.

But it was good enough to match the competitive course record at Timuquana.

With that hot a start, Jonas said he was never thinking about the magic number in golf of a 59.

"But I was thinking about the [course] record," he said.

The humid day, with light winds and on pure greens, lent itself to low scoring. Twenty players shot in the 60s, 55 were under-par and 64 got to the house at par or lower. Four players are tied for second at 6-under 66, University of Florida golf coach J.C. Deacon (who had a bogey-free round), amateurs Jake Kevorkian of St. Petersburg and Ryan Carter of Miami, and Zachary Oakley of Palm City.

Keith Greene of DeBary and Tommy Gibson of Homestead shot 67 and Spenser Slayden of Ponte Vedra Beach and PGA professionals Alan Morin of Royal Palm Beach and Rod Perry of Port Orange all shot 68. …

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