Home Local Sports Korn Ferry Tour’s UNC Health Championship tees off in Raleigh

Korn Ferry Tour’s UNC Health Championship tees off in Raleigh

Matt McCarty holes a birdie putt on his 18th hole of the day. Photos by Chasing Fowl Photography

RALEIGH — The PGA Tour has returned to Carolinas.

The Korn Ferry Tour, a developmental tour of the PGA, will be in Raleigh for the weekend at the UNC Health Championship.

Recent winners of this stop include Davis Thompson, Mito Pereira and Sebastian Cappelen — all of whom went on to get the points needed to get their PGA Tour cards and earn their way onto the top flight circuit.

This week will see 155 players all looking to punch their PGA Tour ticket card at the end of the season. The top 30 players after the season will be eligible to claim status and compete next season.

The morning groupings took advantage of some great weather and good scoring conditions.

Matt McCarty, in one of the early groups, put together a leaderboard-topping -7 including a -4 stretch to end his round and gain a share of the lead with Kyle Westmoreland.

Frankie Capan III, who sits just outside the top 30 on the Korn Ferry Tour (40th) entering the week, sits right behind midday with a -6 under bogey free round.

Joshua Creel holes a long birdie putt on 18th hole.

Capan’s morning threesome was a hot group with fellow competitors Davis Chatfield and Joel Thelen all carding underpar rounds, with Chattfield sitting in a tie for fourth place with a -5 under round. Thelen tied for 29th with his -1.

Sitting alongside Chatfield in a tie for fourth is Joshua Creel who pieced together a strong back 9 on the tougher section of Raleigh Country Club. Creel finished with three straight birdies and drained a long birdie putt on the 18th to the cheers of patrons, one of the bigger crowds on the course at the time.

The afternoon will be battling some tougher weather conditions as rain has started to fall. Some notable golfers in the afternoon wave include last week’s winner— and possibly a fan favorite this week — Rico Hoey. Hoey won his first Korn Ferry and professional event last week at the Visit Knoxville Open draining an emotional 15-footer to claim the victory.

Davis Chatfield watches his long birdie putt role in on the 15th hole en route to a -5 first-round score.

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