Date: November 11, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Davis takes route 66 on US tour debut

If you ask Cam Davis to go to his happy place, chances are he’d mentally fly to Mexico.

Somewhere around Mayakoba, you’d guess.

Davis made his US PGA Tour debut in the OHL Classic today and did so in the style befitting a man who two months ago dominated the world’s best amateurs on the same course.

And while his five-under-par 66 was usurped late in the opening round by Chris Kirk’s dazzling 63, the Sydneysider did more than enough to suggest he’ll fit right in on the world’s biggest tour when he gets his chance down the track.

Playing on an invitation borne of his individual victory during Australia’s charge to the Eisenhower Trophy at the World Amateur Teams Championship in September, Davis was understandably edgy when he pegged it up on the 10th tee.

But by the time the nerves stopped jangling, Davis rammed in four straight birdies from the 5th to 8th holes – his 14th to 17th – and finished round one T11 on a day of hot scoring.

They came on top of a mixed bag on the outward back nine with an eagle on the 13th and a birdie on the 17th each following bogeys Davis said were nerve-induced in just his second tournament as a pro after the recent Queensland Open where he tied for 13th.

“I hit a bit of a shaky tee shot down 12. A couple of my misses on the range were a bit left (and) I didn’t really want to go left there, but I guess right was no good either,” he said with a grin.

“Yeah, it took me a little while just to really settle down and just start relaxing, just hitting my targets and just swinging freely.

“I was get a little bit `steery’ early on. The rest of the day I was able to kind of relax and just get comfortable out there and play the game I played around here last time.

“I felt like I was playing well enough all day to shoot a good score.”

“(Then) I just started rolling a couple of putts in, gave myself a couple more opportunities. There are two par-5s pretty close together (the 5th and 7th), so it was nice to make the most of those.

“I was happy with the way I was playing most of the day, but it’s nice to get a good score out of it all.”

Davis said he was surprised that the course had changed little since he, Curtis Luck and Harrison Endycott took the world by storm to win the Eisenhower Trophy for Australia, including rounds of three and five under at this El Cameleon course.

“The greens are a little bit quicker than they were when we played. It’s rained a lot more so the rest of the golf course is actually quite soft, but it is very similar,” Davis said.

“I thought some of the tees might have changed, but the tees were all exactly the same. It’s just exactly the same golf course, so I’ve just got to just pretend I’m back there playing that tournament.

“It’s been a great experience so far. The course has been awesome.”