Pierceson Coody (66) one back of leaders in first PGA Tour start as professional

Pierceson Coody (66) one back of leaders in first PGA Tour start as professional
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Pierceson Coody, who won on the Korn Ferry Tour for the second time in his career just two-and-a-half weeks ago, looked unfazed Thursday in his first start on the PGA Tour as a professional.

Coody opened with a bogey-free 4-under 66 to sit one shot back of the first-round leaders, appearing calm throughout his opening round.

Full-field scores from The Honda Classic

“It really just feels like another professional event,” Coody said. “I’ve only played about 13 or 14 professional or I guess, whatever, 15 events. But other than the big grandstands it’s not that different. You’re just playing golf. You’re trying to put a good score together. No real nerves out there. Just happy to play well.”

The former Longhorn put his ball-striking on full display at PGA National, hitting 14 greens in regulation and gaining nearly three shots approaching the green.

Coody was solid on the putting surface, as well, making more than 112 feet of putts. He sat fifth in strokes gained: putting at the conclusion of his first round.

“I hit my irons great,” Coody said. “I made some really nice putts. Had some really cool par saves. It kept my round going and let me get a few more on the back nine. As y’all know, those last few as it gets windy on the Bear Trap and whatnot are a little dicey, so was happy to make some pars. Unfortunately, didn’t make a birdie on 18, but it’s still a really nice round.”

Pierceson is in the field this week on a sponsor exemption. His twin brother, Parker, Monday-qualified. Parker opened in 4-over 74.

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