First Posted: 7/22/2009
GREENSBORO Pilot Mountains Tommy Gibson faced his first professional competition in a month Wednesday at Forest Oaks Country Club but showed little rust.
The 22-year-old finished his first competitive round since May in positive fashion at an even-par 71, good enough to land him in a tie for 97th place.
Gibson is competing in the Forest Oaks Classic, a stop on the eGolf Professional Tour, where he has previously played, though not in a eGolf Tour event.
Day one of the tournament ended with Keith Dobbs of Tequesta, Fla., atop the leaderboard at -8 under (64) with Brian Anderson (Jupiter, Fla.) and Scott Brown (North Augusta, Ga.) hot on his heels, tied at -7 under.
Behind those leaders is a seven-player logjam for fourth place.
Gibson said he doesnt think his month long layoff hindered him at all Wednesday, adding he felt it helped him to work on weak points of his game before taking on stiff competition.
I think Ive played enough now that it really doesnt matter (the layoff), Gibson said.
Im a lot more comfortable out there. Now its just going out there and doing it.
Gibson had a quick start to his opening round Wednesday, knocking down a birdie on the par-3 first hole.
That birdie was negated one hole later however, as Gibson bogeyed on the par-4 second hole.
Gibson recovered to par the next two holes to stay even, but bogeyed again on the par-4 fifth to push himself one over.
Two more pars and a birdie on the par-3 number eight allowed Gibson to make the turn at even-par and keep him close to the top of the leaderboard.
Gibson had trouble in his first three holes on the back nine, with bogies on 10 and 12 putting him two-over with just five holes to play.
But the East Surry grad rebounded well, knocking in birdies on three of those final five holes, while bogeying just one, to end his first round at even par and among the middle of the pack.
It could have been better and it could have been worse, Gibson said of his performance Wednesday. It was just kind of one of those rounds, but overall I was fortunate.
Gibson said he thought he rushed several putts during the middle of his round and tried to force his game, leading him to the two bogeys on the back-nine and a tough climb back to even-par at the end of the round..
My caddy and I were talking and he just told me that youve got to be patient and admit you had a couple bad holes, Gibbons said. My share of putts will fall. The turnaround was really just staying patient and waiting for my birdies to come instead of forcing it.
Gibson said he wasnt totally disappointed with his first-round, but hopes to improve on day two.
Overall I hit the ball pretty well but my putting was a little sketchy today, he said. But I played OK. If even par is the worst I can do, thats pretty good.
Gibson will tee off his second round today at 8:40 a.m.