WIL BATEMAN SHOOTS 7-UNDER, TAKES FIRST ROUND LEAD AT DESERT FINANCIAL OPEN
Wil Bateman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) fired a bogey-free 7-under 63 and has a one-shot lead after the first round of the 2021 Desert Financial Open Presented by United Rentals at Talking Stick Golf Club. The leaderboard is crowded after the first round, with nine players sitting within two shots of Bateman and a total of 15 players just three shots off the lead with 54 holes to play.
Playing in the morning groupings, Bateman got off to a quick start with birdies on two of the first three holes, and added a birdie on the par-4 7th hole to make the turn at three-under par. He then added four birdies on the back to complete his bogey-free 63 and take the first round lead into the clubhouse.
2019 Desert Financial Open winner Brady Calkins (Scottsdale, Ariz.) sits one shot back at T2 after an opening 6-under 64 – he would have been tied for the lead with Bateman but made bogey on the par-5 18th. Other players joining Calkins at 6-under include Jared du Toit (Kimberley, BC, Canada), Zander Winston (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Mark Anguiano (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Jhared Hack (Las Vegas, Nev.).
Griffin Wood (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Mac McClung (Fremont, Calif.), Richard Lee (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Ryan Emery (Surprise, Ariz.) are two shots back at 5-under 65; while 2018 Desert Financial champ Eric Ash (Scottsdale, Ariz.) leads a group of five players who are T-11 at 4-under par.
“We always have a competitive field and that showed today with the low scores that were posted,” said Tournament Director Ryan Pray. “We had some wind pick up later in the day, which hampered those afternoon players, but we have a crowded leaderboard and are looking forward to the next two days of competition.”
Entering its fifth year and Presented by United Rentals, the Desert Financial Open features a 54-hole tournament with a field of 162 players, with a cut to the low 50 players and ties after 36 holes. The tournament has a guaranteed purse of $125,000 – with $25,000 going to the winner. For more information visit the tournament website at https://www.desertfinancialopen.com.