BROUSSARD, La. – With windy conditions causing the highest tournament scoring average in over a decade, Max Greyserman, Harrison Endycott and Peter Uihlein carded 4-under 67s to share the 18-hole lead at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by MISTRAS.
Chilly temperatures and a rare northwest wind led to a 72.559 scoring average at the par-71 Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club. The scoring average was the highest since the final round of the 2010 tournament.
Teeing off at 9 a.m., Greyserman tallied seven birdies in the morning wave – countered by a bogey and a double – to post the opening 67.
“I was freezing this morning,” laughed Greyserman. “I live in Florida now so it was probably the coldest day of the year for me. I had four layers on and a beanie. I’m [originally] from New Jersey but I’m not in New Jersey anymore, so yeah, I was freezing.”
The Duke University alum’s round was highlighted by a birdie at the par-4 14th, a 513-yard hole that perennially ranks as one of the toughest holes on the Korn Ferry Tour. Only five birdies were made there in the first round.
“There’s not going to be many birdies on 14 today,” said Greyserman. “The scoring average will probably be like four and a half. I made birdie today, I hit driver, 4-iron to a foot, kind of a tap-in which was good. I turned to my caddie right after I’d made that putt and I was like, ‘We just gained a shot and a half on the field right there.’”
Endycott and Uihlein, competing in the same 1:30 p.m. pairing, each took a different route to their 4-under totals. Uihlein was 6-under through 12 holes before bogeys at the 16th and 18th holes coming in. Endycott made the turn at 2-under 34 before rattling off three birdies over a four-hole stretch on Nos. 10, 12 and 13. A late bogey at the 17th dropped him back to 4-under.
“Guys told me that you don’t really go super low around here, so I figured anything in the 60s would be a good score,” said Uihlein. “It’s windy and cold, totally different wind direction from Tuesday. It got late in the day and it got tough to hole putts. It’s just not an easy golf course.”
Uihlein has competed in six Korn Ferry Tour events this season, finishing top-25 in two of them. He is currently a PGA TOUR member and has made three cuts in five starts this season on TOUR.
Endycott was uncertain he would gain entry into the field until Tuesday. After Ryan Brehm withdrew on Tuesday afternoon, Endycott got in as an alternate.
“It was all about patience today,” said Endycott. “I was like the 14th alternate last week, so it’s crazy how it can change. I’m very grateful that I’m actually playing this week and trying to make the most of it. It’s always a bonus to play well in the first round. I didn’t get to see too much of the golf course, so for me to go out and shoot a good number, I really had little expectations today.”
Endycott is making his first start of 2021 after failing to get into the LECOM Suncoast Classic last month. The 24-year-old Australian made 17 starts in 2020, his rookie season, with a career-best T8 finish at the Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth.
“It’s a little bit of a question mark going in each week,” said Endycott of being on the alternate bubble. “Any week out here, a big week is crucial and it can change your life…It’s hard because you don’t know what people are thinking or feeling. You have to be optimistic, you can’t think you’re not in and that’s why I traveled here, I have to prepare like I am in.”
Second-round tee times will run from 7:20 a.m. to 2:10 p.m. on Friday off of the first and 10th tees.