River Pointe Golf Club head pro Sonny Skinner fired a 6-over during the first round of the PGA Championship on Thursday in Rochester, N.Y.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Sonny Skinner misread the tee sheet with his starting time and it wound up having an impact on his first round at the PGA Championship.
Skinner thought he had 10 more minutes to get ready when caddie Steve Tambroni told him it was time to head for the first tee. Skinner hadn’t even had a chance to putt and ran through the crowd in time to get to the first tee.
“Normally I don’t jog to the first tee from 120 yards,” he said.
Turns out the first tee was backed up and Skinner would have had time to finish his routine. But the mad rush threw his rhythm off and led to a poor start and a first-round 6-over 76 at Oak Hill Country Club.
“I don’t know if that’s the reason, but I’m going to say it was,” Skinner said with a smile.
Skinner, the PGA professional at River Pointe, can attribute the lack of success to his inability to hit fairways and greens. He hit only five fairways and six greens in regulation
“I couldn’t hit my golf ball,” Skinner said. “I didn’t hit many fairways and greens. And one of the greens I did hit, I three-putted.”
Skinner struggled out of the gate. He made a bogey on the first three holes, birdied the fourth, and came back to double-bogey the fifth. He closed with four straight pars to make the turn in 3-over 39.
“My caddie (a friend from River Pointe) had the most positive attitude you can imagine,” Skinner said. “After that first par he said, ‘We’re on a roll. We’ve made one it a row.’”
Skinner made another birdie on the 13th hole, which led to a 37 on the back nine.
He endured a 71-minute rain delay in the middle of the round and played the final hole in a light rain. He was tired, ready for a hot shower and a meal.
“This is definitely the most penal test I’ve ever played,” said Skinner, who has played in two previous PGA Championships. “These are the tightest fairways and the toughest rough I’ve seen.”
Skinner, who was the last player to finish on Thursday, gets a shot at the early wave on today. He will again be paired with Richie Ramsay and Gary Woodland at 9:15 a.m.