19 Feb 2021 | Professional golf |
Coletta fires on Korn Ferry Tour
by Martin Blake
Australian Brett Coletta has made a rollicking start to his 2021 season on the Korn Ferry Tour in Florida.
Melburnian Coletta, 24, a Golf Australia rookie squad member, shot a blazing, first-round 63 to share the lead in the tour's first event of the new year.
He made eight birdies and an eagle in his round, throwing in two bogeys as well in the Lecom Sun Coast Classic at Lakewood Ranch Country Club near Tampa.
Coletta ignited his round at the par-four fourth hole when he drove the green and made a long eagle putt, having started out in the first group of the day. "It's always a tough start, especially first off," he said later. "It was pretty dark, to be honest. I didn't see my first tee shot. I was happy with the first three holes, even (par), one over. I hit a really good shot on the par-four fourth, about 30 foot. I drained that. "I putted really well. When you have that kind of number around here, you've got to putt pretty well."
He also finished with a long birdie putt at the last to share the lead with American George Cunningham at eight under par.
"It was front edge, 40 feet maybe, up the hill and down to the right," he said. "It was a good putt. I was happy with a two-putt to be honest. When it rains, it pours I guess, with these things."
Coletta is 82nd on the Korn Ferry Tour points list having spent the past few months in Florida in his downtime. The cost of returning and the quarantine issues saw him stay in America, camping at Golf Australia's house near Orlando.
He even indulged a new love of fishing over the break, but he's enoyed "spending a substantial amount of time in one place at one time".
Another Australian, Mark Hensby, is tied-fourth after round one after beginning with a 65 while Brett Drewitt opened with a 67. Coletta said the nature of the event -- a one-off tour event followed by a month's break -- meant it would be a unique contest. "It's a hard one because it's only one event," he said. "It's hard to get amped for. It's going to feel like a sprint out here this week."
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