Grant Hirschman and Conrad Shindler posted matching 9-under 63s to take the first-round lead at the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper. Timothy Madigan, MJ Daffue, Jonathan Randolph and Andres Gallegos sit in a tie for third at 8-under.
Beginning his day on the back nine, Shindler hit the ground running with an eagle on the par-5 11th and a birdie on the par-4 12th. He then went on to birdie Nos. 17 and 18 to make the turn at 5-under. Shindler kept his hot streak going with birdies on Nos. 1, 2 and 3. After converting an up-and-down on No. 4, he would add a birdie at the par-4 fifth to reach 9-under on his round.
“We got off to a really good start,” Shindler said. “We hit one tight on No. 11, my second hole, for eagle. That just got the round going. Then you birdie the next and we’ve gotten the ball rolling early. We had a nice stretch there coming around the back, and then into the front. All in all, it was a good day.”
Shindler is no stranger to low scores at Highland Springs Country Club. At the 2017 Price Cutter Charity Championship, the 31-year-old opened with a 9-under 63 before finishing T16 for the week. There’s no question Shindler knows how helpful a low first round can be.
“I think it really helps establish your footing for the tournament,” Shinder said. “It’s a course where scores are low, and a lot of birdies are being made. If you’re just barely missing those opportunities, you’re going to get frustrated very easily.”
Shindler would go on to earn his PGA TOUR card after the 2017 Korn Ferry Tour season. Despite the success two years ago, Shindler finds himself 114th in The 25 with just three weeks left in the Regular Season. Even with his struggles this year, he remains optimistic.
“You see it all the time, guys that have missed four cuts in a row and then they win,” he said. “You see that all the time and you just have to believe. I’ve had a great support group. Obviously, it’s the first day and there’s a lot of golf left, but I couldn’t do it without them.”
Rookie Grant Hirschman fired an opening-round 63 to join Shindler atop the leaderboard.
The 24-year-old got off to a hot start with birdies on four of his first six holes and added birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 to make the turn at 6-under. The University of Oklahoma product kept his momentum going on the back nine, adding birdies on Nos. 11, 16 and 18.
“My wedges and irons were pretty dialed in today,” said Hirschman, who hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation. “I was giving myself a lot of looks, which is always key when you’re playing an easier golf course. I did a good job of rolling in some putts early and gained some confidence with the putter.”
Competing at Highland Springs Country Club for the first time, Hirschman knows scores will be low, but also knows he needs to focus on his own game.
“I’ve heard the scores are low here, but I try not to pay too much attention to them,” he said. “I just try to go out and focus on getting looks and going as low as possible. You have to take it one shot at a time and you can’t get ahead of yourself, which is very easy to do.”
Hirschman currently ranks 131st on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List. With only three events remaining, Hirschman understands he needs a good week, but also wants to enjoy the moment.
“I think the last few weeks I’ve put too much emphasis and thought into it [Korn Ferry Tour Points List],” he said. “This week, I talked to my caddie and thought, let’s just have fun and see what I can do. I’ve been close to having a good week, so we’re just trying to have fun and see what happens.”