Amateur Mitchell Schow earned PGA TOUR Latinoamérica status in 2020 but elected to remain an amateur. He relinquished that status and returned to play at the University of Utah. Schow made the turn at 3-under but made two bogeys against only one birdie on his final nine holes to finish at 1-under 71. He’s tied for eighth.
After a stellar college career, Peter Kuest played in five PGA TOUR events in 2020, making one cut—at the Barracuda Championship in Truckee, California, where he finished 65th. Kuest, a native Californian (Fresno) opened this week’s tournament with a 1-under 71 and is tied for eighth.
Another PGA TOUR Series-China player, TK Kim, opened the tournament with an even-par 72 and is tied for 12th. The Idaho resident has played 44 times in China, his last season coming in 2018. His top showing was in 2015 when he tied for second at the Lushan Open with Sejun Yoon, two shots behind winner Bryden Macpherson.
Amateur Hunter Epson, a senior at Long Beach State, is currently the 707th-ranked amateur in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Epson has reached as high as 364th. He originally signed with Pepperdine and played there during his freshman season before transferring to Long Beach State, near where he grew up.
“I felt good, comfortable with the golf course. I knew what I was doing, and I was doing the same thing on every hole.” –Nick Cantlay on his familiarity with Soboba Springs
“It’s just hard to get back into competing in general after not being in a tournament for so long. I think playing a lot more on the golf course with friends definitely helps, but nothing emulates teeing it up in a tournament, for sure.” –Ben Lein
“I didn’t hit it great, but I missed it in the right areas. I putted well, and I’ve spent some time putting on these greens.” –Ben Lein
“I think I scored pretty well. I think that’s the main part.” –Ben Lein
“When I saw the [groupings], I thought I couldn’t have gotten a better draw. Good time. I knew who Norman was, but I had never met him.” –Ben Lein on his grouping with fellow PGA TOUR Series-China alum Jeffrey Kang and Norman Xiong
“The golf course is in good shape. The greens are rolling really well in the morning.” –Briggs Duce
“I got off to a little slow start. I stayed patient and made a lot of pars. Then the putts started to fall, and I made a good little putt on 18. I’m excited for the week. I think it’s a good start, but there is still a lot of golf to play.” –Briggs Duce
“I thought I played well; nothing too flashy. I just went out there and took each shot for what it was.” –Briggs Duce
“I had a lot of putts that didn’t go in in the beginning. I wasn’t thinking about what was a good score. I was just trying to hit good shots, and a couple of putts fell.” –Briggs Duce
“I had a couple of chances on the par-5s that I didn’t capitalize on. But I also made some good putts. It all evened out over the course of the day.” –Briggs Duce
Overcast and cool in the morning. Wind SW at 8-12 mph. A small front moved into the area in the early afternoon. Rain began falling at 4:18 p.m., and lasted for approximately 20 minutes. Wind steadily gusted in the afternoon from 18 to 20 mph. High of 64.