Patrick Cover takes 18-hole lead at Live and Work in Maine Open

FALMOUTH, Maine – Following a new career-low round of 64, Patrick Cover sits alone atop the leaderboard as the 18-hole leader at the Live and Work in Maine Open. It marks the first lead of any kind for Cover, a Korn Ferry Tour rookie making his 16th start of the season.

Cover played bogey-free golf for the first nine holes at Falmouth Country Club, making the turn at 3-under par with birdies at Nos. 1, 6 and 7. The 26-year-old logged two bogeys at the par-4 10th and par-5 14th, but countered with birdies on Nos. 12 and 13. Cover climbed to the top of the leaderboard late the round as he played final three holes at 4-under par, recording a birdie-eagle-birdie finish.

“I’ve been putting some good finishes together and obviously to go 4-under on the last three was a really nice bonus,” Cover said. “I hit it close on No. 16, still had to make a good putt. Then I hit a really good shot on No. 17, just to the fringe. I probably had a 10-footer from the fringe, then I made a nice putt. I didn’t think it was going in on the last hole, but I hit it really soft and it caught a lot of break at the end and got in the side door. ”

Cover’s previous career-high standing at a Korn Ferry Tour event was T4 following the first round at the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX two weeks ago. Cover opened with a then-career-low 7-under 65 but played the final three rounds at just 2-under and finished T44. Cover, who placed T14 at Final Stage of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament, has struggled to find consistency this year, missing 11 cuts in 15 starts. The University of North Carolina-Wilmington alum made a couple of changes recently that he says have helped.

“I got a new putter a couple of weeks ago and that seemed to totally revamp my putting which is really nice,” Cover said. “I would consider myself a good putter but I really struggled at the beginning of the year. I’ve been trying to work on my mentality and attitude a lot too. It’s easy to get down out here. I had a lot of rough tournaments in a row and it’s easy to get down on yourself, but I just felt confident this week. I did a lot of good things last week despite a missed cut. I made a lot of birdies, so I felt good about my game. I just felt confident today. ”

Prior to turning professional, Cover played four seasons at UNC-Wilmington from 2014 through 2018, where he was a three-time all-conference selection and won three individual titles. In his first season as a professional in 2019, Cover played PGA TOUR China events. Cover played PGA TOUR Canada last year.

Despite the rocky start this season, Cover has learned from the experiences and drew back to those Thursday, now sitting as the outright leader entering the second round.

“It’s easy to get down on yourself when you’re not playing well but you’re not as far away as you think you are,” Cover said. “It’s been right there, it’s just been a couple rough tournaments. When you don’t play well on the front nine or the first 15 holes, the weeks can get pretty short. So it’s really nice to start off the tournament strong. ”

Second-round tee times will from 6:30 am through 1:46 pm local time off the first and 10th tees.

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