Patton Kizzire continues to lurk around the top of PGA Tour leaderboards
Patton Kizzire’s PGA Tour career is off to a great start.
After skipping the season-opening Frys.com Open to get married, Kizzire kicked off the fully exempt campaign with a T-2 finish in Las Vegas. After having to sit out for the CIMB Classic, he finished T-4 in the Monday finish to the Sanderson Farms Championship, played opposite the WGC-HSBC Champions.
Two starts, two top-five finishes. The Web.com Tour’s leading money winner from last year is well on his way to securing PGA Tour status for next season.
In Thursday’s opening round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico, Kizzire continued the fine form. His 5-under 67 at El Camaleon Golf Course has him a shot off the pace of four players, including Justin Leonard and Aaron Baddeley.
Kizzire hasn’t let stepping up to the PGA Tour spook him. He’s sticking with the same game plan that led to a pair of wins and 12 top-10 finishes on the 2015 Web.com Tour.
“I just have been kind of treating this as an extension of the Web.com Tour, and it just has the PGA Tour name on it,” Kizzire said. “Obviously it’s a bigger stage, but it’s just more tournaments and more opportunities to make some birdies and have some fun.”
There’s no doubt Kizzire is also motivated to join the early crop of first-time winners, including some of his Web.com Tour peers, including Emiliano Grillo, Peter Malnati and good friend Smylie Kaufman.
“It’s encouraging,” Kizzire said. “It gives you even more belief that you can do it. So I’m excited for them, and glad that they set the bar high and I can chase them.”
Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.