- Savannah Richardson, Ross Steelman photos
Georgia Tech transfer Ross Steelman set the tone for the first round of the Dogwood Invitational at Druid Hills Golf Club.
Steelman paced the field with a 62 on day one as he leads the field by two strokes. William Walker III came close with a 64 of his own to hold solo second place. Chris Woollam and Garrett Rank each posted a 65 to tie for third. Rounding out the top five after the first day of play are Josh Edgar, Garrett Martin, James Leow and Luka Karaulic, as they each shot 66.
Steelman parred the first three holes, then went on a roll. He birdied the fourth and fifth hole to move to 2 under. Then, eagles at seven and nine pushed him to make the turn at 6 under.
On the back nine, Steelman carded another four birdies to finish out the round.
“I played really well. I hit the ball well and putted well — that's really all I had to do. I didn't have a whole lot of pitches or chip shots, only the one on the 18th,” Steelman said. “Just pieced together a really solid opening round. Obviously, there's more to go, but I feel pretty good aboutwhere my game's at.”
Going into the second nine, Steelman took advantage of the momentum those two eagle putts gave him.
“Oh, yeah, that was huge because both of them I had about 40 to 50 feet for eagle,” Steelman said. “You're really just trying to get it down in two, and then I ended up making both of them. Realistically I should probably be 4 under, and I look up, and I'm six. I was just trying to keep thepedal down from there, knowing that there are some more birdie opportunities ahead and just trying to take advantage of them.”
Moving into day two, Steelman said he plans on staying aggressive because he knows if he lets off the pedal, someone could go low.
“Winning scores out here are really, really low. I just got to keep trying to hang some low ones out on the course and just making sure I keep firing,” Steelman said. “If you get timid or lay off a little bit, someone else is going to be firing behind me. So might as well fire on with them.”
The 62 came after just one practice round on Tuesday for Steelman, but he said this course fits him.
“I really like the course. It suits my eye pretty well,” Steelman said. "A lot of the holes dogleg a little bit to the left — I like to hit a draw. It just fits well for me. I really like the greens. They're nice bent grass which I've grown up playing on, and I just really enjoyed the layout.”
In the afternoon group, Walker III was 3 under at the turn, then like Steelman, birdied four holes on the back nine. He closed the round out with a birdie on the par 5 18th to end the round on a high note.
Defending champion Brandon Mancheno carded a 70 for his first round. After bogeying two of the first five holes, he birdied seven, eight to get those strokes back. He birdied the 11th as well, then closed out the day with seven straight pars.
Ashton Poole, the 2018 winner, carded a 68 to sit in 17th place, and 2014 winner Trey Rule posted a 71 on Day 1.
ABOUT THE Dogwood Invitational
Tournament week is June 6-11 at Druid Hills Golf
Atlanta, Georgia. The entry fee includes breakfast
tournament days as
as special events.
The history of this prestigious event extends back to
1941, when legendary amateur Tommy Barnes
captured his first of five Dogwood titles. Evolving
the times, the modern Dogwood has produced fine
champions like Webb Simpson (’07), Brian Harman
(’09), Dawson Armstrong (’15), and in 2019 Brandon
seen also in our course renovations and set-up, our
relaxed tournament atmosphere, and our spirit of
Players are required to walk during tournament play
and may carry their golf bag themselves (push
allowed) or take a caddie. Caddies may be requested
in advance during registration, or players may
one on their own.
Player housing is provided on an as available basis to
, caddies and traveling
companions are not
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