Brand sets Grand Island course record, takes lead - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Brand sets Grand Island course record, takes lead

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Nobody has ever had as good a round at Grand Island as Christian Brand did Friday.

That it helped the West Virginia native open a lead at the Grand Island Classic is pretty nice too.

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Brand birdied six of the first seven holes on his way to a course record 61 Friday morning. He finished with 11 birdies, no bogeys, and a five-shot lead entering Saturday's final round.

"I just got into a good flow. It's all about being in a good mindset, a good process, and just trying to hit your shot at your target and connecting to your target," he says. "I was doing that early, and I ended up getting into another flow on the back nine."

Brand entered Friday one shot back of Jonathan Hodge, who had himself a nice -5 round. Nice round or not, Hodge still finds himself five shots back with 18 holes to play.

Brand knows the course is ripe for shooting birdies, as evidenced by his 11 birdie round Friday. That means he's got to stay aggressive as he aims for a tournament win.

"I need more birdies," he says. "There's not a number I'm going to try to get to. Just play each shot as best I can and try to birdie every hole. That's pretty much my strategy in any golf tournament."

The final round tees off at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Brand takes off with the final group at 8:18 a.m.

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