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A good feeling to start

| July 31, 2020 1:15 AM

Bayley opens strong in first PGA Tour event

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The anticipation might have kept Derek Bayley on edge as his PGA Tour debut drew closer and closer this week at Old Greenwood.

Now about that wind.

Bayley, a Lakeland High product who went on to play at Washington State, is tied for 62nd following the first round of the PGA Barracuda Championship, firing a +3 in the tournament using Stableford Scoring.

“I didn’t have my best stuff today,” Bayley said. “I felt fine to start, and got out to a good start and went par, birdie, birdie. But I struggled with the swirling winds with my iron shots. I hit a lot of iron shots that weren’t the right yardage, and that’s unlike me. But the first round on the PGA Tour, it’s out of the way now. I felt great. Probably all I could ask for was to feel like I feel now tomorrow and hopefully get it going. It was quite the grind today, but hopefully we’ll get after it tomorrow.”

In Stableford Scoring, players get five points for an eagle, two points for a birdie, 0 points for par, -1 for bogey and -3 for double bogey or more.

Bayley teed off at 1:50 p.m., on Thursday, and finished the round with 12 pars, three birdies and three bogeys.

Bayley competed in the Colorado Open last weekend in Denver.

“It was a pretty similar course, but I struggled a little with the uphill and downhill,” Bayley said. “It was hard to feel it in the trees. Hopefully, with some lighter conditions I’ll be able to get it going tomorrow.”

Bayley qualified for the Barracuda by winning the Reno Open, a Golden State (now Golden Cup) Tour event, on June 27.

“I spent most of the time wishing my tee time was right then,” said Bayley, who played in the last group of the day. “I really had to pace myself and my mind a little bit. But I was happy with how I felt. I was itching to get going yesterday and had to keep myself occupied today. But it felt good to be out on the course.”

Bayley will start off the first tee today along with Eric Axley and Rhein Gibson starting at 8:50 a.m.

Adam Schenk and Ryan Moore are tied for the first round lead with 14 points.

“Going into this week, it really wasn’t result based for me,” Bayley said. “It was more I’m here and I have a job to do this week, and I’m not going to limit myself. It still wouldn’t surprise me if I was up there on Sunday. I kind of figure why show up if you’re going to limit yourself. My two biggest goals were to stay in the present and not look too far ahead, stay in the moment and the present. The second was to remember why I’m here. It’s nothing result based, because if I just say I want to play the weekend, that’s the exact opposite of what I want to do. And I kind of struggled with that last year. I just want to keep my goals non-result based.”