03 Jul 2020 | Professional golf |
Coletta within striking distance again
by Mark Hayes
Brett Coletta took a bumpy road, but it delivered him within striking range of a title tilt at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Colorado Championship today.
Coletta, a Golf Australia rookie squad member, took another step towards an American breakthrough with a fighting 69 at Heron Lakes, the same venue at which he finished second last year.
After his opening 68, it took him to seven under, just three strokes behind halfway leader, American Will Zalatoris who has shone with a pair of 67s.
Melburnian Coletta was on a rollercoaster for much of the afternoon after an early double-bogey when he had to reload his drive on the par-4 fourth hole.
But his rare ability to string together birdies was again to the fore, making four in five holes from the fifth and then bouncing back again after another bogey on the 14th to steady.
After finishing 14th while in contention for much of the recent King and Bear Classic in Florida, it’s another confirmation of his form in the quest for his first win on American soil.
Curtis Luck and Harrison Endycott (both -2) were the other Aussies to progress, with the West Australian making two late bogeys to push past the one under cut line.
Endycott, of NSW, made hard work of his back nine – including a double-bogey on the 13th – but made a great up and down on the last to remain in contention.
Ryan Ruffels hit back well after his opening 77, but his 68 only got him to one over. He’ll be joined on the sidelines this weekend by Mark Hensby, Jamie Arnold and Brett Drewitt.
Meanwhile, on the US PGA Tour, New South Welshman Rhein Gibson carded a fine opening 67 to sit just two shots back after the opening round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.
Gibson carded six birdies against just one bogey as American trio Doc Redman, Scott Stallings and Kevin Kisner headed a packed leaderboard.
Jason Day was next best Aussie with a 70 , while Cam Davis, Aaron Baddeley and Cam Percy each returned 71 to share 87th.
Greg Chalmers and John Senden fired even-par 72s, while reigning Australian Open champ Matt Jones will need to go low tomorrow after an opening 73.
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