Swafford, O’Hern, Loar, Kohles share lead
DAVIDSON, N.C. (AP) — Hudson Swafford, Nick O’Hern, Edward Loar and Ben Kohles shared the lead in the Chiquita Classic, shooting 5-under 67 on Thursday in the first round of the Web.com Tour Finals event.
The tournament at River Run Country Club is the second in the four-event series that will determine 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season.
The bulk of the field is made up of players in the top 75 on the Web.com Tour money list and Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings. The top 25 on the Web.com money list are assured PGA Tour cards, while the other players are fighting for 25 additional cards.
Loar was fourth on the Web.com Tour money list, and Swafford finished 61st. Kohles was 148th on FedEx Cup list, and O’Hern was 176th.
Swafford missed the cut last week in the series opener in Fort Wayne, Ind.
“I’ve been getting caught up in worrying about what others are doing around me,” Swafford said. “When I commit to my game plan I play a lot better. ... Last week was a little unfortunate because it put me behind in getting a tour card. The only thing I can control is this week.”
O’Hern said River Run is comparable to Sedgefield, the site if the PGA Tour’s Greensboro event.
“It’s nice to play a golf course where you have to be in the fairway,” the Australian said. “The greens are very similar and the way the holes are shaped, it’s right up my alley.”
Only 45 players finished under par.
“The rough is all you want,” Loar said. “You’ve definitely got to golf your ball around here.”
Troy Merritt, D.J. Brigman, Peter Tomasulo and Matt Davidson shot 68, and Web.com money champion Michael Putnam was another stroke back along with Jeff Klauk, Bronson La’Cassie, Tim Petrovic, Will MacKenzie and Michael Putnam.
Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa had a 70 after missing the cut last week in Fort Wayne.
South Africa’s Trevor Immelman, the winner in Fort Wayne, opened with a 73.