Golf

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Stanley picks him fifth in power rankings . . .

    Ted Potter has received a boost from PGATour.com analyst Adam Stanley regarding the Chitimacha Louisiana Open set to begin tomorrow at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club.

    In listing his power rankings for the event, Stanley picks Ted at No. 5, with this comment: "Potter has made every cut this season and has been the definition of steady with results of T13, T15, T12, T10. He was on the cusp of victory last year in Portland, and it just seems like the 33-year-old is due for a big finish." 

    The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play begins today with its purse of $9,750,000 and there are 16 groups of four slated for round one. The No. 1 seed is Dustin Johnson, with Rory McIlroy at No. 2, Jason Day at 3, Hideki Matsuyama at 4 and Jordan Spieth rounding out the top five. Phil Mickelson heads the 14th group. The two Seminoles are in, Brooks Koepka seeded No. 20 and Daniel Berger No. 35. 

    The $3 million Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach Golf & Country Club has three Gators on the menu, Matt Every, Camilo Villegas and Brett Stegmaier. Also in the field is Wade Binfield, who just won the Ocala Open at Candler Hills. Every made his first cut of the season at Bay Hill last week, shooting rounds of 73-70-74-76-293, 5 over par. Billy Horschel, who isn't playing anywhere this week, tied for 13th with 72-73-67-72-284, 4 under. 

    Tom Lehman, architect of the new Trilogy course on Highway 27 in Ocala, won the Tucson Conquistadores in Arizona with rounds of 66-67-66-199, 20 under par, edging Steve Stricker by one. Stricker faltered on the last three holes Sunday in his Champions Tour debut. Lehman earned $255,000 for the effort and is sitting in fourth place on the old guys' money list. Adena pro Marco Dawson posted rounds of 73-71-70-214, 5 under, ex-Gator Scott Dunlap shot 70-74-71-215, 4 under, and ex-Gator Mark Calcavecchia shot 79-68-71-218, 1 under. 

    

    

Monday, March 20, 2017
Ted is 13th on Web.com money list . . .

    Ted Potter is back in action this week at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club in Broussard, La. Ted currently sits in 13th place on the Web.com Tour's top 25 list with earnings of $49,270. The tour leader, Andrew Putnam, is also entered - he's banked $171,100. The event has a purse of $550,000 with $99,000 going to the winner.

    Other familiar former PGA Tour players set to tackle the par-71, 7,004-yard course are Robert Allenby, Jason Gore, D. J. Trahan, Shaun Micheel, ex-Gator Dudley Hart, Tommy Gainey, Erik Compton, Daniel Chopra, Steve Flesch, Richard S. Johnson and Central Floridian Rob Oppenheim. 

    

Sunday, March 19, 2017
Georgian closes with 7-under 64 . . .

    Wade Binfield became a first-time winner of  the annual Ocala Open at Candler Hills and collected the first prize of $12,000. The Fayetteville, Ga. resident outlasted a solid field, prevailing by three strokes. He shot 70-65-64-199, 14 under par. 

    Ryan (The Great) Gildersleeve, winner of the last Florida Professional Golf Tour event at Ocala National a few years back, finished in a tie for third at 9 under par 204 and earned $5,000. The Clearwater resident was squarely in the hunt after opening with rounds of 65 and 69, but a final round of 1-under 70 was enough to let Binfield in the door.  

    Former PGA Tour player Patrick Sheehan deadlocked for fifth at 8 under and banked $2,875, while one-time teenage sensation Tadd Fujikawa of St. Simon's Island was at 5-under 208. 

    Tyler Hock of Dunnellon and Marty Musgrave of Ocala both missed the cut of even-par 142, each shooting 2-over 144. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017
His 143 total has him tied for 26th . . .

    Chronicling Matt Every's recent woes in yesterday's column turned out to be just what the doctor ordered for the former Gator. Matt posted a 2-under-par 70 in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational following his Thursday 73 and at 1-under-143, he made his first cut of the wraparound season in his 12th try.

    Matt made the cut (3 over) with room to spare, making one birdie on the front nine, and adding three birds and two bogeys on the back for a round of 35-35. He's tied for 26th going into the weekend, nine strokes behind leader Charley Hoffman. 

    Billy Horschel's 72-73-145 made the cut by two strokes, but Camilo Villegas missed it at 5-over 149. Brooks Koepka rebounded from his opening 78 with a 2-under 70 but it wasn't enough to keep him around for the final 36 holes. 

    WEESIE THREATENING - The LPGA Tour is in Phoenix for the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, and there are 39 players within five strokes of the lead. Ariya Jutanugarn and Stacy Lewis are deadlocked at 13 under, and there are four tied for third at 12 under, including Golfer's poster gal, Michelle Wie. Weesie lipped several birdie putts yesterday or she would be in the lead, and she's hitting it so well this could lead to her first victory since 2014.

    Gator Sandra Gal is in the hunt with 66-69-135 and is tied for 21st at 9 under, along with Ha Na Jang, the last winner of Golden Ocala's Coates Championship. Brittany Lincicome, after a mediocre beginning (72), tacked on a 7-under 65 to get back in contention. 

    

Friday, March 17, 2017
Former Gator in midst of horrendous slump . . .

    It's been a rough two years for former Gator Matt Every, ever since he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in back-to-back seasons (2014, 2015) and gained three years of exemptions on the PGA Tour. But not much has gone right thereafter, and 2016 was a virtual disaster - 17 events entered, 1 top 25, 10 missed cuts, two withdrawns, and skimpy earnings of $158,453.

   Hard to fathom while considering he entered the 2016-2017 wraparound season with career earnings of $7,964,566, including one year of collecting more than $2.5 million.  

    The drought has continued since October, and coming into his favorite venue at Bay Hill this week Matt's ledger reads: 11 events entered, 10 missed cuts, one withdrawn, and zero dollars earned.  

    Yesterday, he took a major step toward turning it around, at least temporarily, by posting a 1-over-par 73 at Arnie's course,  and winding up day 1 in a tie for 46th. The projected cut line after 18 holes was 2 over. So far this season, he doesn't have one week under par, with his best a 69-72-141, 1 over, at the Sony Open.

    Could this be the day he breaks out of the slump? His round yesterday consisted of a back nine where he made two bogeys and one birdie, then nine straight pars on the front. It's somewhat encouraging.

    Emiliano Grillo and Matthew Fitzpatrick took the first-round lead with 5-under 67s, one better than Paul Casey and Charley Hoffman. Billy Horschel is at even-par 72, but Camilo Villegas (73) is in danger of missing the cut and Brooks Koepka (78) will have to shoot a career round to remain for the weekend. 

    Rory McIlroy (74), Henrik Stenson (75) and Zach Johnson (75) are also going to have to step it up to make it for the final 36 holes. 

Friday, March 10, 2017
Stenson, Henley both at 64 . . .

    With the biggest stars skipping the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, it was left for the second-tier players to carry the day in the opening round at Innisbrook yesterday. None of them did. Instead, it was unheralded Jim Herman who blistered the Copperhead course with a 9-under 62 to take a two-stroke edge over Russell Henley and Henrik Stenson, best of the big names who opted to compete.

    Matt Kuchar shot 3-under 68, Jim Furyk 2-under 69, Patrick Reed 1-under 70 and Justin Thomas even-par 71. Even par was the early projected cut line. Of the Gators, Brett Stegmaier was right on the cut line and tied for 55th, as was Brian Gay. Billy Horschel and Matt Every were both at 4-over 75. Seminole Daniel Berger shot 2-over 73. 

     

 

Monday, March 06, 2017
Marquee names sit this one out . . .

    The Valspar Championship begins at Innisbrook Thursday with many familiar names in the fold - Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson, Parick Reed and Henrik Stenson among them, plus a couple of well-known senior types, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh. But no Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day or Phil Mickelson. Or Tiger Woods.

    Without the latter group, the tournament in Palm Harbor just doesn't take on the same kind of significance of many of the other early-season events, like next week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

    Dustin appears to be elevating himself an iota above the others, as his unreal driving ability gives him a huge advantage that most can't overcome. He also has an excellent short game, and he can putt with the best. He won the $9,750,000 WGC-Mexico at 14 under and collected another $1,660,000 with which to buy Paulina more great outfits.

    Dustin edged Tommy Fleetwood by one, and Tommy's disappointment can be ignored while he cashes his check of $1,045,000. Ross Fisher and upcoming star Jon Rahm tied for third and earned $497,000 each. Phil stumbled in the finale to an even-par 71 after he was squarely in the hunt at 10 under after 54 holes - he tied for seventh and took home $211,667. (By the way, if there was a combined PGA/Champions event and Tommy Fleetwood was paired with Mac O'Grady their team could be dubbed Fleetwood Mac).

    The Valspar, with its purse of $3 million, has drawn four Gators - Billy Horschel, Brett Stegmaier, Brian Gay and the biggest question mark coming out of Gainesville, Matt Every, who hasn't been able to get out of his own way for many months. Seminole Daniel Berger will be there after he shot 6 under in Mexico and took home $105,125. Brooks Koepka was 2 over and still earned $55,500.

  

Saturday, March 04, 2017
Golfer's poster gal is 14 under in Singapore . . .

    The long-awaited return to form of Michelle Wie is in full swing at the 63-player HSBC Women's Champions this week in Singapore. Michelle, now 27 (hard to believe), hasn't won an LPGA event since 2014, but she holds a two-stroke lead at 14 under after 54 holes at the Sentosa Golf Club. Weesie has posted rounds of 66-69-67-202, and it's the first time she's been at double digits under par since October of  '14.

    In yesterday's round, she made six birdies and one bogey, the latter her first since midway through the opening round. She's killing it off the tee, hitting the greens, and her putting is tons improved since she got rid of the ugly stoop-over look

    Wie's task is going to be far from easy, however, because Lydia Ko, Sung Hyun Park and Ariya Jutanugarn are all just two strokes behind. Ha Na Jang, who won the last Coates Championship at Golden Ocala, and Inbee Park are three behind at minus 11. Paula Creamer has crawled out of her doldrums and is tied for 11th at 8 under

    RORY'S ROARING - At the $9,750,000 WGC Mexico Championship, Rory McIlroy's 9-under 68-65-133 leads Phil Mickelson by two strokes and Dustin Johnson by three, so it promises to be a multi-birdie weekend in Mexico City. It remains to be seen who will be allowed back across the border Sunday evening.

    Rickie Fowler is at 4 under and Sergio Garcia at 3 under, but some of the other big guns are listing. Adam Scott is 7 over, Patrick Reed 5 over, Bubba Watson 3 over, Jim Furyk 6 over, Hideki Matsuyama 2 over and Jordan Spieth 1 over. Seminole Daniel Berger is in the hunt at 6 under and is tied for fifth, while Brooks Koepka rebounded with a 69 after an opening 76 and is at 3 over. 

    

     

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
No Gators in the group . . .

    The World Golf Championships in Mexico City this week will be Tigerless, Dayless and Gatorless. Who knows if Tiger will ever be back, and Jason Day is injured, and not one of the five Gators on tour qualified for the WGC. Seminoles Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka did, however.

    The WGC field is very strong, though, and should provide some real fireworks, with Fowler, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson answering the call. 

    At the Honda Classic, won in a walk by Rickie Fowler at 12 under, only Gators Billy Horschel and Brian Gay made it through 72 holes. Horschel shot a solid 70-68-67-68-273, 7 under par, and tied for fourth. Gay faltered on the weekend, posting 73 and 74 after opening with 68 and 69, and was 4 over, tieing for 60th.

    Fowler played it safe on Sunday with a 1-over- 71 because he didn't need top any more. Nobody made a charge. Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland tied for second at 8 under. 

 

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Two Gators make cut, Seminoles gone . . .

    Five of the seven Gators and Seminoles were out after 36 holes of the Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, while Ryan Palmer and Wesley Bryan were tied for the lead in the starless field at 9 under par.  Palmer (66-65-131) and Bryan (64-67-131) are one stroke ahead of Rickie Fowler (66-66-132), the only marquee name near the top.

    Brian Gay leads the Gators with scores of 68-69-137, 3 under par, and he's tied for 17th and not without a big shot for a top 10 finish. Billy Horschel added a 68 to his opening 70 and is 2 under and tied for 28th. The cut came at even par 140 and left out in the cold are Brett Stegmaier (141), Daniel Berger (143), Brooks Koepka (149), Camilo Villegas (150) and Matt Every, who withdrew after his Thursday 84. Stegmaier was even after 18 holes and got it to 2 under quickly Friday, making eagle on the par 5 third hole. But he didn't make a birdie all day and bogeys at 8, 10 and 11 left him one stroke over the cut line. 

    

Friday, February 24, 2017
Brian Gay's 68 best of Gators . . .

    Cody Gribble and Wesley Bryan were tied for the lead after the first round of the Honda Classic yesterday as many of the marquee players opted to stay home. Gribble and Bryan were at 6-under-par 64, one stroke better than Anirban Lahiri and Martin Kaymer, who used to be listed among the marquee types, but has slipped considerably in recent months. Rickie Fowler was tied for fifth at 4-under 66, but Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth were among the no-shows. 

    Brian Gay led the contingent of five Gators with a 2-under 68 and was tied for 24th, while Billy Horschel and Brett Stegmaier shot even-par 70 over the PGA National course in Palm Beach Gardens and were tied for 63rd, which was the projected cut line after 18 holes. Camilo Villegas (79) and Matt Every (84) shot themselves out quickly, and it's a puzzle what has happened to Every's game since he won back-to-back at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. 

    Seminole Brooks Koepka opened with 1-over 71 and Daniel Berger with 2-over 72 and will have a little work to do today to make it to the weekend. 

    ARIYA OFF TO GOOD START - Ariya Jutanugarn, the 2016 Player of the Year, is deadlocked for the lead with Amy Yang after the first round of the Honda LPGA Thailand. both shooting 6-under 66.

    Lexi Thompson's 4-under 68 has her tied for seventh, while Gator Sandra Gal opened with 3-under 69. Cristie Kerr is at 4 under and Stacy Lewis at 2 under. Ha Na Jang, last winner of the Coates Championship at Golden Hills, posted 1-under 71 in the field of 70. Lydia Ko, still mired in somewhat of a slump, for her, shot 2-under 70, and Brittany Lincicome is at 1-over 73. 

Monday, February 20, 2017
Ted Collects $15,000 . . .

    Ted Potter closed out the Panama Claro Championship with a 3-under-par 67 yesterday which resulted in his best finish of the season. Ted deadlocked for 10th place with three others at 6 under, and each collected $15,000. That was also Ted's best paycheck, raisinghis Web.com earnings to $49,270, and he jumped up one spot on the money list to 13th

    Once again, Ted made enough birdies over 72 holes - 15 - to have moved him closer to the top, but seven bogeys and one double did him in. So far, he has finished 10th, 12th, 13th and 15th and a win or top five certainly seems to be on the horizon.  

    The Web.com Tour now takes a hiatus until March 23 when it returns to the U. S. at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in Broussard, LA. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017
At 3 under, he can still finish high . . .

    It took a flurry of birdies near the end of round three for Ted Potter to keep from slipping well down the leaderboard at the Panama Claro Championship. Ted began on the front nine and made two birdies and two bogeys for even-par 35. On the back, he double bogeyed the par-4 11th and bogeyed 13 and 14 to drop to four over before he righted the ship with birdies on three par 4s, the 15th, 16th and 18th.

    The flurry moved him back to 3 under for 54 holes, eight strokes behind the leader, Andrew Putnam, but still in a good position to snag another top 20 finish with a solid round today. Putnam holds a one-stroke lead over Mark Anderson, who is 10 under.

Saturday, February 18, 2017
Play Halted Again in Claro . . .

    After making six birdies on Thursday, Ted Potter failed to improve his position in the second round of the Panama Claro Championship, making 17 pars and one bogey. That dropped him to 4 under and into a deadlock for 14th, although there were still a slew of players on the course when play was suspended late in the day. 

    When play was halted, Mark Anderson and Cameron Wilson were sitting atop the leaderboard at 9-under 131.

    Ted began on the back nine and parred every hole. On the front, he parred No. 1, bogeyed the par-4 second, then parred out for a round of 36-35-71. He still hasn't made a birdie on a par 5. His tee time today is 11:50 a. m.

    BRETT FALTERS AT RIVIERA - Brett Stegmaier was unable to duplicate his opening round at the Genesis Open, and the former Gator tacked on a 75 to his Thursday 66 for 141, just 1 under par. He dropped to a tie for 52nd, and, like the Claro, there were still many players on the course when darkness came.

    Johnny Vegas was alone on top at 7 under with four holes remaining when play was halted. Billy Horschel got back into it after his poor first round of 75. He is 3 under par after 13 holes and back to even par, which is the cut line as of now. After his opening-round 76, Matt Every shot 2-under 69 and won't make the cut at 3 over, while Camilo Villegas never got to hit a shot in round two. Brooks Koepka is virtually out after his opening 75, going 1 over for 14 yesterday. 

      Jordan Spieth is 3 under after 16, moving him to 5 under overall, while Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson had yet to tee off in the second round. 

Friday, February 17, 2017
Tied for fifth in Panama . . .

    Ted Potter began with a bogey at the first hole at the Panama Claro Championship yesterday, but righted the ship with birdies at 3 and 7 for a front-nine 34, then blistered the back nine with four birdies to complete a nifty, 5-under round of 65. That left him just one stroke short of a quartet at 6 under, and in a tie for fifth with four others.

    Ted's usual strength is his ability to tame the par 5s, but he parred both of them yesterday while making five birdies where he usually stumbles, on par 4s. He also made one on a par 3.  

    GATOR IN THE HUNT - Brett Stegmaier began his round at the Genesis Open as though he was shooting to become the latest PGA player to break 60, birdieing the first four holes at famed Riviera Country Club, then adding another on the seventh hole for a front-nine 30. But the former Gator stalled on the back, making just one more birdie and adding one bogey, and he wound up at 5-under 66. That was good for a deadlock for second place with Dustin Johnson, J. T. Poston, Daniel Summerhays and Cameron Percy, two strokes behind leader Sam Saunders, grandson of the late Arnold Palmer.

    The round was suspended due to darkness with half the field still on the course, including Jordan Spieth, who was 2 under after 16 holes. Phil Mickelson was able to finish, and he was at 4-under 67, tied for seventh. 

    Among the other Gators, Camilo Villegas was tied for 51st at 1 under, Billy Horschel was 2 over after 15, and Matt Every's woes continued - he shot 5-over 76. Seminole Brooks Koepka was 3 over after 15. 

     

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Familiar faces are on alternates' list . . .

    The Champions Tour remains in Florida this week with the $1.6 million Chubb Classic at Twin Eagles Golf Club in Naples and Ocala's Grant Waite is still absent from the entries.

    Gators Mark Calcavecchia and Scott Dunlap will be playing, as will Adena pro Marco Dawson and Trilogy architect Tom Lehman. At last weeks' Allianz Championship, Calc tied for 47th at 5 under par, Dunlap tied for 16th at 12 under, and Dawson tied for 23rd at 10 under.  

    Once again, due to the influx of newcomers on the tour, a great many familiar faces have been relegated to the alternate list, including Wayne Levi, Scott Simpson, Tom Purtzer, Dan Forsman, Bob Gilder and Bill Glasson. 

 

Monday, February 13, 2017
Holes out for eagle on a par 4 . . .

    Ted Potter had a rocking chair ride in the final round of the Colombia Club Championship in Bogota yesterday, which included four birdies, a costly double bogey and an eagle. Ted finished tied for 12th after posting rounds of 68-68-72-68-276, 8 under par, just five strokes off the leaders, Ethan Tracy and Roberto Diaz, who played off after deadlocking at 13 under.

    Tracy birdied the par-5 18th hole the second time around in the playoff to win the $700,000 event.  

    Ted was making a run at the leaders after making four birdies on the front nine, getting him to 9 under, but the disastrous double bogey 6 on No. 11 killed his chances. He holed out his second shot on the par-4 16th to get back to 9 under before bogeying No. 17 to end his run. 

     Ted's check for $13,720 was his biggest in the three Web.com Tour events thus far, and it brought his total to $34,270. He moved up from 16th to 14th on the money list. He'll be playing again this week in the $625,000 Panama Claro Championship at the Panama Golf Club in Panama City, a par-70 course that measures 7,102 yards. Former Gator Andres Echavarria is also entered. After the Panama event, the Web.com Tour will be off for about a month before returning to Louisiana in March. 

    For the four rounds in Bogota, Ted easily had enough under-par holes to win the tournament - one eagle and 20 birdies - but his over-par holes (12 bogeys and one double) did him in.   

Sunday, February 12, 2017
Solid round today can get him a top 10 . . .

    After three rounds of the Club Colombia Championship in Bogota, Ted Potter has birdied just about 30 percent of the 54 holes, 16 to be precise. That's second-best in the talent-laden field. But 11 bogeys - tied for 61st - have dashed his chances to win the third event on the Web.com Tour schedule.

    At 5 under par, Ted is sitting six strokes behind the leaders, Brandon Harkins and Andrew Landry, both 11 under, and he's tied for 17th after his 3-under-par 68 yesterday. On the front nine, he made three birdies and one bogey, on the back, three birdies and two bogeys. It's not an impossible task today, although it's highly improbable, but Ted has gone low often in his career. A solid round, resulting in a top 10 finish, will solidify his position on the money list and keep pushing him toward a return to the PGA tour next season. 

    REBORN - The Jordan Spieth of old has resurfaced at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and he's six strokes in front of Brandt Snedeker after rounds of 68-65-65-198, 17 under par. Dustin Johnson and Kelly Kraft are tied for third at 10 under, and Central Floridian Rob Oppenheim is forging a career performance - he's all alone in fifth at 9 under. To paraphrase former Santa Anita racecaller Trevor Denman, "They'd have to sprout wings to catch Jordan Spieth."

    None of the Gators made it into today's final round, although Brian Gay just missed with rounds of 70-73-72-215, even par. It took 1 under to proceed to the final 18. Matt Every's freefall (72-79-74) continued, and Brett Stemaier (80-74-72) was unable to overcome his opening round. 


     

Saturday, February 11, 2017
Still will make cut in suspended round . . .

    The weather continued to plague the Club Colombia Championship in Bogota yesterday, but Ted Potter was able to finish his round amid a flurry of bogeys that dropped him from a spot near the top of the leaderboard.

    After his opening-round of 3-under 68, Ted began with birdies at 10, 12 and 13 to get to 6 under in a hurry. But he lost the edge with bogeys at 15 and 16 and fell to 4 under. A birdie at 17 was negated by a bogey at 18. On the front nine, the bogeys continued - at 2, 3 and 6 - before he birdied No. 8 to finish at 72 and 2 under for the 36 holes. In the space of 10 holes - from 15 through 6 - he made six bogeys and just one birdie, and was sitting in a tie for 27th when play was halted for the second day. The cut was projected to be at plus 1 at the time.

    Former Gator Andres Echavarria had 12 holes remaining when the horn sounded, but he was 8 over and had little chance to make the cut.  

Thursday, February 09, 2017
Trails Garnett by four . . .

    Ted Potter and his cohorts on the Web.com Tour took another hit from the weatherman today in Bogota, Colombia, as has been the norm in so many recent events on both U.S. professional tours. Ted was 2 under par after 12 holes in the Club Colombia Championship when the inclement weather took its toll with Brice Garnett sitting on top of the leaderboard at 6 under. Taylor Moore and Alex Prugh were one stroke back.

    Teed played the front nine in 2 under 33, making two birdies and no bogeys. He then went to 3 under with a birdie at 10 but gave it right back with a bogey at 11. He parred 12 before play was halted. Among the other familiar names, Dan McCarthy, winner of the last two editions of the Ocala Open, was at even-par 71, while veteran Daniel Chopra was at 3 under and tied for sixth. Eric Cole, another perennial participant in the Ocala Open and the son of Bobby Cole and Laura Baugh, was at 1 under after 13.