Last Modified: Friday, August 03, 2012 8:07 PM
SULPHUR — A late-night turn on a practice putting green was the impetus John Morrissey rode to a 5-under-par 66 and the opening-round lead of the Sulphur city golf championship on Friday.
The tournament continues through Sunday at Frasch Park with three other flights joining in. Tee times will begin at 8 a.m. each day.
Morrissey, who once tied for the title in the event (losing in a playoff), went out in 33 and came back in the same way, knocking down six birdies.
He said putting was a key.
“I played steady, but my putting was the difference. I had been having some problems with my putting and spent about an hour last night on a putting green working on it,” the 2012 Lake Charles city long driving champion said.
On his first hole Friday, he knocked a putt 5 feet past the cup but then drilled the ball in and was off to one of his most successful putting rounds.
The 66 he shot was his lowest score in the Sulphur city tournament and one of the lowest by any competitor in the event.
Two other golfers broke par but Jacob LeJeune was the only other scoring in the 60s. The two-time Lake Charles city champion (2010, 2011) shot a 2-under 69 with nines of 34-35.
He said his round was up and down and that he couldn’t string anything together. His scorecard showed eight birdies (one made on a 40-foot putt), four pars and six bogeys.
Marty Reed with a 70 was the only other golfer under par, while at even-par 71 were defending champion Ben Suarez and former champions Craig Trosclair and Jason Horn.
Suarez, who will turn pro in two weeks, said he struck the ball well but couldn’t putts. He had four birdies and three of them were two-putt birdies.
The lowest nine-hole score was a 32 on the backside by high schooler Devon Fontenot, who finished at 73 and at one time birdied four consecutive holes.
Tournament director and club pro George McInnis said, “John’s score surprised me. I thought that 69 would be a real good score, and I still think that 6- to 8-under par will take the title.”
This year the course is featuring a higher-than-usual rough because of recent weather conditions.