116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — An opening bogey wasn’t enough to keep Brendon Doyle away from the top of the Greater Cedar Rapids Open leaderboard Saturday afternoon.
The 27-year-old responded to the five he made on the par-4 first hole with four birdies in his next eight holes.
“I started off with a bogey on the first hole from 50 yards,” Doyle said in a post-round interview. “I just kind of juiced one. After that, I kind of settled in and started making my putts. I was putting it really well yesterday and kind of had a good feel. I kind of kept it going today and made some good putts when I needed to. Just kind of racked some birdies up there at the end.”
Five-under-par 67 wasn’t Doyle’s best round of the tournament. The right-hander from Davenport, Ky., fired a 10-under-par 62 on Friday.
Doyle made 10 birdies, eight pars and no bogeys Friday. The course record at Hunters Ridge is 11-under-par 61. Mitchell Homb posted the record-breaking round during the 2017 GCRO.
Doyle’s Friday 62 took him from a near-missed cut to the last group off the first tee Saturday morning. Doyle shot a 1-under-par 71 in the first round of the three-day, 54-hole event.
“I didn’t play great my first day,” Doyle said. “I was just trying to put myself into contention to maybe shoot a low one on Saturday to have a chance. I mean, 10-under is awesome. It definitely put me in a good position.”
Doyle’s first-place finish at the GCRO also earned him a $30,000 payday. The former Indiana University men’s golfer said he’ll use the money to fund a trip overseas, where he’ll compete in the European Tour’s qualifying school.
The European Tour’s Q School is a 14-event circuit that is broken up into three stages. After the third stage, the 25 best-performing golfers get European Tour playing privileges.
The cost to register for the first stage of European Tour Q School is about $2,000. Over 800 golfers signed up for the first leg of European Tour Q School in 2019.
“That makes a big difference,” Doyle said of the prize money he won. “It takes a lot of stress off, for sure. Especially going to Europe, that stuff is not going to be cheap. It’s awesome. Definitely relieves some pressure.”
The next event on Doyle’s schedule is the 103rd Kentucky Open at Persimmon Ridge in Louisville. The first two European Q School events are scheduled for Aug. 30 in England and Australia, respectively.
“I’m going back home for the Kentucky Open next week, which I’m excited about,” Doyle said. “It’ll be fun. After that, I kind of have some time off to get ready for Q School.”