01 May 2022 | Professional golf |
Endycott on verge of Korn Ferry Tour breakthrough
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
Twenty-five-year-old Sydneysider Harrison Endycott has established a five-stroke lead as he chases a breakthrough professional win at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Huntsville Championship.
A two-time runner-up on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, Endycott is in his 43rd start on the secondary US Tour and took the first outright lead of his career following a bogey-free six-under 64 in the third round in Alabama.
Endycott reached 16-under par for the week and ended Saturday with a five-stroke lead, the largest 54-hole advantage at a Korn Ferry Tour event since the Dormie Network Classic at Briggs Ranch in April 2019.
Through the first nine events this season, no player led by more than one stroke after 54 holes. And through the first nine events of the season, no player who has led or co-led after 18, 36, or 54 holes went on to win the tournament.
Endycott’s 16-under 194 through 54 holes at The Ledges also matched Chase Parker’s 19-under 194 from the Veritex Bank Championship for the lowest 54-hole score this season. “I’ve still a lot a lot of hard work to play tomorrow,” Endycott said.
“Guys out here are really good. I’m expecting someone to shoot a low one again tomorrow. I’m prepared for that, and I just want to get some sleep, have an easy night tonight, and try to get out and do my best again tomorrow, see what happens.”
Endycott played out of the final pairing Saturday and began the round one shot behind 36-hole leader Erik Barnes. He birdied all three par 5s (Nos. 4, 8, 10) and added three others at the par-4 seventh, 12th, and 15th. Those six birdies increased Endycott’s total birdies this week to 17 (16 birdies, one eagle), tied for the most in the field.
More importantly, Endycott only has two bogeys through the first 54 holes, two fewer over-par holes than any player in the field this week.
“It was more just trying to hit fairways and greens. That was all I focused on today,” said Endycott, who hit 12 of 13 fairways, along with 16 of 18 greens in regulation Saturday.
“I thought, you know what? My putting feels really good. If I can just give myself looks all day, I’m going to shoot a good score.”
Endycott turned professional and debuted as a 21-year-old at the 2017 New South Wales Open. He lost in a playoff to Simon Hawkes at the 2018 Vic Open and was tied for second with Deyen Lawson six shots back of Daniel Nisbet at the 2019 Queensland PGA at Toowoomba.
After he spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Endycott earned Korn Ferry Tour membership and finished T41 at Final Stage of the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament.
“Regardless of where I end up in my career or whatever, I’m doing something that I’ve always said I wanted to do,” Endycott added. “I proved a lot of high school teachers wrong, which is fantastic.”
Endycott recorded a top-25 in the season-opening 2022 The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay but has not finished higher than T32 his other five starts. Those results left him No. 103 on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points List ahead of this week’s event.
“I felt like I played close to how I played this week nearly every week,” Endycott said.
“I think there is probably two weeks out there where I didn’t play that well. It was very hard to be optimistic about that because you got to focus on the process, but results kind of kick you in the face a little bit.
“You feel like you’re doing the process really well and just the results aren’t happening, it’s frustrating. That’s just part of the grind.”
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