Tain Lee shoots 65 to grab opening-round lead at Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.  – Former Division III Jack Nicklaus Award winner Tain Lee reeled off seven birdies in a row on the back nine and eight in all today en route to a 65 and the Web.comTour Qualifying Tournament lead after the first of six rounds.

The San Juan Capistrano, Calif. resident leads Rick Cochran of Paducah, Ky. and Kyle Scott of Johannesburg, South Africa by one stroke. Cochran and Scott posted identical rounds of 35-31-66.

All three leaders played the Fazio Course at host PGA National Resort & Spa and will venture over to the Champion Course, site of the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic, Friday.

Lee did not have great expectations prior to his morning tee time.

“I did not play well in my practice sessions early in the week and today’s warm-up was horrible,” Lee said.

The four-time Division III All-American out of Claremont McKenna College in California realizes he and the other 149 players in the field have a long way to go.

“It’s clearly a marathon and not a sprint, as everyone keeps saying.”

Lee, 24, is seeking to become a member of the Web.com Tour for the first time. He spent a good bit of 2014 competing on the European Tour and Challenge Tour after qualifying for the former tour last year but not enjoying particularly good status.

Cochran was in one of the first groups off the tee at PGA National Resort & Spa at 8:00 a.m. when temperatures hovered around 45 degrees. After a steady start of one birdie and one bogey over his first eight holes, he enjoyed a run of six birdies over his final 10 holes.
Cochran, whose uncle, Russ, is a winner on both the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour, secured his spot in Q-School with a sixth-place finish on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit at the conclusion of last week’s 2014 season.

The 28-year-old who graduated from Middle Tennessee State in 2009 had several brushes with victory this year on that tour, recording four runners-up, with two coming in playoffs.

With his American wife Laura as his caddie, Scott ran off five birdies in a row to open his back nine and added another at No. 17, only to miss a short putt at the 18th to finish 5 under. The 2011 Georgia Tech grad, who remained in Atlanta after college, is a self-professed serious fan of countryman Ernie Els. “If Ernie’s having a bad week, so I am,” he said. 

Cochran and Scott, both 28, are separated by just 34 days in age.

Every player in the field has earned, at a minimum, conditional status on the Web.com Tour in 2015 by virtue of getting to the Qualifying Tournament Finals. Approximately 1,000 golfers entered Q-School this fall, with some having to succeed in up to three previous stages of qualifying. At stake at PGA National is player positioning in the all-important priority ranking, which is used to determine Web.com Tour fields each week. The higher one finishes at Q-School, the more events he will get to play next year.

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