McCumber grabs the first-round lead at ESI
GLENVIEW, Ill. – Tyler McCumber carded an opening-round 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead in windy conditions at the inaugural Evans Scholars Invitational. Rob Oppenheim, Vince India and Marcelo Rozo sit two shots off the lead at 5-under 67.
McCumber got off to a fast start as he began his round on the back nine at The Glen Club. At the short par-4 10th, McCumber drained a 20-foot eagle putt after finding the green with his drive. He followed the eagle with a birdie on No. 11 and pars on Nos. 12 and 13. McCumber played the final five holes on his front nine 2-under to make the turn at 5-under.
“We got off to a hot start and really drove the ball straight today,” said McCumber, who hit 12 of 14 fairways. “We took advantage of the par-5s and some of the drivable par-4s. Overall, we played pretty solidly.”
The University of Florida product picked up right where he left off as he made the turn to the front nine. He opened with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 to get to 7-under for the round. After pars on Nos. 3 and 4, McCumber added another birdie on the par-5 5th. A bogey on No. 6 set him back to 7-under, and he closed out his round with three straight pars.
“I felt like one of my main thoughts in Canada was going out and making birdies,” he said. “The only thing I was thinking about was eagles and birdies and I came out and did that today. It really is kind of a mindset, just coming out and creating that flow.”
McCumber was one of the hottest players in golf last season on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. In a four-week stretch, McCumber earned three victories and a solo-third. He continued his strong play into the 2019 Web.com Tour season. In his first five starts, he earned four top-15 finishes and has been near the top of The 25 throughout the year. The 28-year-old has a lot of previous success to look back on as he looks to secure a PGA TOUR card.
“I’ve been drawing back quite a bit on it [last year],” McCumber said. “You know, after a couple rounds, I didn’t think my scores were very indicative of where my game was at. I felt like it was a mixture of having a long year and a half and not taking enough time off. Given those couple of rounds, I made sure not to get discouraged. I watched a couple of highlight reels I had on my phone saved from some of those Canadian events. So, I’ve been drawing back on it quite a bit.”
Vince India, Rob Oppenheim and Marcelo Rozo each sit two shots off the lead. India, who grew up in nearby Deerfield, Illinois, played The Glen Club as a junior golfer. After a slow start on his first nine, India heated up making four birdies on the more difficult front nine with his family and friends in attendance.
“I’m not sure many other people have played this course as much as I have,” India said. “I had a couple people watch today. It’s kind of tough when you have expectations for the week, but I did my best to just hit the golf shot in front of me and it felt pretty good.”
Rob Oppenheim opened his round with three straight pars before birdies on Nos. 13 and 14. After a string of eight consecutive pars, Oppenheim took advantage of the par-5 5th, making an eagle. He added a late birdie on No. 8 to close out his bogey-free round.
Marcelo Rozo, who fired his low opening round of the season, had an up-and-down start to his day. The 29-year-old had an eagle, a birdie and two bogeys on the front nine but gained his composure on the back. Rozo climbed the leaderboard with birdies on Nos. 10, 13, 14 and 17 to finish day at 5-under.
Vince Covello, Scottie Scheffler, Luke Guthrie, Brandon Crick and George Cunningham sit three shots back at 4-under 68.
Round One Results
Round Two Pairings