Martin Flores Sets PR at 2012 Greenbrier Classic: A Fan's Take

Martin Flores is Chasing Vijay Singh at 2012 Greenbrier Classic

Yahoo Contributor Network

The buzz around the Old White TPC on Thursday, July 5, 2012, is all about the play of two PGA Tour veterans, Vijay Singh and Jeff Maggert. Going mostly unnoticed, in the first round of the Greenbrier Classic, 30-year-old Martin Flores shot the best round of his PGA Tour career.

Vijay Singh: Vijay Singh has been a golf professional since 1982, before many players in the Greenbrier Classic were even born. In his career, the 49-year-old native of Fiji has won 34 times on the PGA Tour and a total of 56 times internationally. His record led to a much-deserved induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006. In the first round at the Old White TPC, on July 5th, Vijay birdied the final four holes to finish with a 7-under par 63 and is alone atop the leaderboard. He is trying for his first Tour victory since the 2008 Deutsche Bank Championship.

Jeff Maggert: A 48-year-old native of Columbia, Missouri, Jeff Maggert has been a professional since 1986. While only claiming victory on the PGA Tour three times, he has 88 top 10 finishes and overall earnings of more than $17 Million. By all accounts, a successful career to date. In the Greenbrier Classic's opening round, Maggert played bogey-free golf and posted an excellent score of 6-under par 64. Victory would be his first win since the 2006 FedEx St. Jude Classic.

Martin Flores: Martin Flores is a 30-year-old Texan, who earned his first PGA Tour card with a fourth place finish in the 2009 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament. In his second event of the 2010 season, posting scores of 66, 65 and 65, in the first three rounds of the Bob Hope Classic, his future looked bright. However, like many who have played before him, Flores has found the PGA Tour to be a difficult place to succeed. He lost his Tour card at the end of the 2010 season, having made the cut in only 11 of 26 events played.

In 25 events on the Nationwide Tour, in 2011, Flores finished in the top 10 four times and tied for second at the Rex Hospital Open in June. 24th on that tour's money list at season's end, he earned his second card for the PGA Tour. In 2012 his struggles have continued, surviving the cut in only 11 of 20 events entered, with a best finish being a tie for 8th in January's Farmers Insurance Open.

Martin Flores has never been able to improve on the score of 65 he shot at the Bob Hope Classic, all the way back in January of 2010. That all changed in the first round of the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, on Thursday, July 5th. Beginning play on the back nine, with birdies at holes #12, #16 and #17, he shot a very nice bogey-free 33. Moving to the front side, with birdies at #3, #7 and #9 (again bogey-free), his card showed a 31 for his second nine.

Martin Flores has set a new personal record in his PGA Tour career, with an 18-hole score of 64, and is a single shot behind Vijay Singh. He is still a long shot to win the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, for his first-ever PGA Tour victory, but the 2012 season has been filled with surprise finishes. It will be interesting to see how he does on Friday, and whether he can become a true contender.

Harold Andrews has played golf (competitively and recreationally) for nearly 50 years. He considers Jack Nicklaus the greatest golfer of all time.


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