Former Iowa golfer Vince India eyeing Korn Ferry Tour scoring record
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Vince India has a goal, and he didn’t mind sharing it.
“I want 30-under (par),” the 31-year-old former University of Iowa golfer said after another dominating day at the Korn Ferry Tour’s King & Bear Classic on Friday. “That would be pretty cool.”
It would also match the Korn Ferry Tour record for 72 holes. India already has the 54-hole mark in relation to par and as the field has proven this week, almost any number is possible.
India and the rest of the leaders continued their assault on the King & Bear course in the third round and with four birdies on his last six holes, the University of Iowa graduate tied the course record with a 62 and finished at 25-under-par 191, four shots ahead of four-time PGA Tour winner Chris Kirk (64), and six shots clear of Will Zalatoris (66), Justin Lower (67) and Dawson Armstrong (67).
Jared Wolfe (63) and Wes Roach (67) are tied at 18-under.
India, who was one of four players who tied the previous course record of 63 that Brett Coletta set early in Wednesday’s first round, signed for his 62 just minutes after Austin Smotherman shot that number, finishing on the front nine.
But indicative of how low the scores are this week is that Smotherman could only work his way up to a tie for 13th at 16-under.
“Going off the back nine, in the third round … no pressure,” said Smotherman, an SMU product who holds the course record of 60 at Trinity Forest in his hometown of Dallas.
India has missed only five fairways in three rounds, and is 12 of 13 getting up-and-down for par after missing the green. He has not required more than 26 putts in a round this week.
“Stick to my plan,” he said. “Fairways and greens. There are a lot of opportunities. I’m putting so well that I feel like I can make it from anywhere. As long as I get it on the green I feel like I have a good birdie shot.”
India broke the 54-hole record of 24-under held by Arjun Atwal (2008 Chattanooga Classic), Tommy Gainey (2010 Chiquita Classic) and Martin Piller (2015 Albertsons Boise Open.
His 191 tied for fifth-lowest in Korn Ferry history.
Two players have shot India’s goal of 30-under for 72 holes: Daniel Chopra in the 2004 Henrico County Open and Stephan Jaeger in the 2006 Ellie Mae Classic. Chopra’s score came on a par-72 course.
The field averaged 68.175 in the third round (3.825 under par), the lowest in relation to par on the Korn Ferry Tour since the second round of the 1997 Puget Sound Open.
India kick-started his round with a 15-foot eagle putt at No. 5, then birdied the rest of the holes on the front nine for a five-hole streak at 6-under.
He made a bogey at No. 12, but then birdied Nos. 13, 14, 16 and 18 — missing a 6-foot eagle attempt at the last.
Trying to keep pace was Kirk, who couldn’t get into the field at the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage this week, and dropped down to play his first Korn Ferry tournament since 2010, when he was second on the money list to earn a PGA Tour card he has never relinquished since then.
“There’s a ton of really, really great players out here, a ton of really good young guys who just smash the ball,” Kirk said. “I felt that way 10 years ago when I made the step up to the PGA Tour and it doesn’t feel like there is much difference this week. I see the same exact thing. The cut was 6-under and it was almost 7-under. These guys know how to make some birdies.”
Wolfe tied the course record early and was in solo second at the time he finished.
It didn’t take long for him to drop four spots.
“It’s been a fun week so far, fun to see the ball go where I want it to go,” said Wolfe, whose score on Friday was 16 shots lower than his second-round score last week at the Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass, where he missed the cut after a 79 at Dye’s Valley.