Travis Ross, a Crookston native, is tied for first place with a -6, 65 after one round of the eGolf Tour's Spring Creek Classic at Gordonsville, Va.
The Spring Creek Classic is a three-round event that will continue today and Friday.
Ross began his day at the award-winning Spring Creek course with two birdies in his first three holes.
“I got up and down for birdie on No. 2, then hit an 8-iron from the rough on No. 3 to 4 feet after the ball fed toward the hole off of a side wall on the green,” he said in a release sent out by the eGolf Tour.
The fast start soon turned into a lullaby of pars, as Ross followed up the birdie at No. 3 with 10 consecutive pars to find himself still at 2-under standing on the tee of the par-4 14th. A clutch birdie at 14 turned into yet another birdie at the short par-4 15th, and Ross’ once-promising round was resurrected.
“The birdies on 14 and 15 really got me going,” said Ross. “Up until that point, I was hitting good iron shots, but nothing was really going in the hole.”
The birdies at 14 and 15 turned into birdies on 17 and 18, which left Ross with a first-round 65 and a share of the 18-hole lead.
The good start at Spring Creek for Ross came as little surprise to those who follow the tour, as the former University of New Mexico golfer parlayed rounds of 67-69-72—208 into a career-best T4 finish at the event’s 2011 edition. It goes without saying that the Ed Carton-designed course more than fits his eye.
“It’s a phenomenal golf course to play. It’s awesome,” Ross said. “No one in this field is disappointed to be at Spring Creek this week. It’s a real treat for all of us to play.”
“I like it a lot because it’s bent grass. Being from Minnesota, we don’t play on Bermuda grass, so this is what I’m accustomed to,” said Ross. “It’s an advantage for me as most guys are from around the Southeast and don’t play wall-to-wall bent grass all that often.”
Regardless of grass familiarity and comfort on a course that scores a 10 on conditioning, Ross’ opening round was a welcome surprise after a year spent struggling out of the gate. In 12 starts thus far on the year, entering the week at Spring Creek, Ross had broken 70 in the opening round just once – often making his day two rally a necessity rather than a luxury.
“I’ve been working at it hard this year, but nothing has really been coming. My first round scoring average, I’m pretty sure, is terrible. So, I wind up putting myself behind the eight ball a lot,” he said. “I feel fortunate to be off to a good start, finally, this week. Hopefully from here on out I can keep it going.”
Page 2 of 2 - Ross, 24, has been competing on the eGolf Tour since February of this year, participating in 12 events with five cuts made. He has earned $12,613.91 to date. His best finish is t-6th at the Irish Creek Classic on March 21-24. He earned nearly $5,500 in that event.