Home / Blog / FD’s Gibb fires 70 to open PCC

FD’s Gibb fires 70 to open PCC

Jun 02, 2023Jun 02, 2023

Jun 3, 2023

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall: Judd Gibb of Fort Dodge hits an approach shot on Friday at Wakonda Club in Des Moines.

DES MOINES — Every single time Judd Gibb steps to the tee, the nerves always hit.

Friday was no different for the Fort Dodge resident, but the environment and his surroundings helped put his mind at ease.

Gibb opened up play at the PGA's Champions Principal Charity Classic at Wakonda Club with a wayward tee shot on hole No. 1. From there, the former Iowa State University golfer would settle in and fire a round of 2-under that has him in a tie for 25th overall following the opening round.

"I’ve played this golf course hundreds of times, all the way back to when I was 12 years old," Gibb said. "I definitely get intimidated by it, so to shoot the round I did after getting off to such a shaky start was great."

Gibb's first swing of the day — to start the tournament — left the ball up against a tree in an unplayable situation. Gibb recovered, though, to card a bogey.

"It was a really good bogey save," he said. "They have live music playing and the practice putting green is right by the first tee. They do the (National) Anthem, and there are a lot of people around.

"I didn't hit a very good tee shot. I was nervous, but I get that way on every tee shot. I thought it was nice they let an Iowa guy hit the first shot."

Steve Stricker holds the overnight lead at 8-under, followed by Rod Pampling, Jerry Kelly and Stephen Ames, who are all at 6-under. Familiar names such as Vijay Singh, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Bernhard Langer and Mark Calcavecchia are all in the Top-20.

Gibb, a member of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame, is tied with 13 other players, including Y.E. Yang, Chris DiMarco, Tom Lehman, Colin Montgomerie and Jim Furyk.

The 1987 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate reeled off four consecutive pars after the bogey on No. 1 before knocking in a birdie on the par-4 No. 6. Two more birdies and a bogey saw Gibb end his first nine in 37.

On the back, he started with a stretch of three consecutive birdies before closing with six pars for a 33.

"I settled down and had a nice run there," Gibb said. "I had some makeable putts that just didn't fall. They weren't bad strokes… maybe just bad reads on my part, but I’ve been streaky all year."

Gibb has previously played in such events as the PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open. He earned his first spot in this event after securing an invite at a qualifier earlier this week at Veenker Memorial Golf Course in Ames with a 6-under par round.

"I was able to get hot at Veenker and it was just my day," Gibb said. "I’ve tried every year since I turned 50 to qualify for this, so it's great to finally make it possible."

Gibb's son, Andrew, was able to caddy for him again.

"It's great (having Andrew on the bag)," Gibb said. "He's down at Simpson for the summer. so this allows us time together we don't always get."

Saturday's round will see Gibb start on hole No. 1 again at 10 a.m. alongside Yang and Harrison Frazar.

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