Victorian Brett Coletta has taken advantage of being first group out to take the early lead at the Korn Ferry Tour’s King and Bear Classic at World Golf Village and in the process set a new course record at the Arnold Palmer-Jack Nicklaus Florida layout.

Starting his round from the 10th tee, Coletta opened with a birdie and continued on with his mantra of going full throttle, adding two further birdies and an eagle at the par-5 18th to make the turn in 5-under. A string of three straight birdies from the third hole continued Coletta’s impressive climb to the top of the leaderboard, a two-putt birdie at the par-5 seventh taking him to 9-under and a new course record.

It was a strong start too for Ryan Ruffels who opened with a 6-under 66 to be tied for ninth while Brett Drewitt (5-under) and Curtis Luck (4-under) have also put themselves in a good position to figure across the next three rounds.

Despite three missed cuts and a withdrawal in his first four events of the year, Coletta said it was important to make the most of the good weeks, especially given the extended nature of the Korn Ferry Tour season that will stretch into 2021.

“I got off to a real hot start and then just followed through for the rest of the round,” Coletta said post-round with a two-stroke lead.

“Now more than ever we’ve got a long season. It’s such a long season normally and now it’s even longer so it’s important to pace yourself.

“The Tour doesn’t reward grinding out a top-30. The Tour rewards really high results so I’ve learnt coming through the ranks that the better results are more rewarding.

“It sounds pretty simple but a top-20 or top-30 won’t cut it, you’ve got to really capitalise on your opportunities.

“That was my mindset out there today, just full throttle. I knew I was 6 or 7-under through 12 holes and just wanted to go full throttle. You just never know out here, someone could come in behind me with a 64.”

Based in Victoria, Coletta endured the same golf ban that the entire state was subjected to but has been quick to find form since the season’s resumption.

“I was back home in Australia and I wasn’t allowed to play golf for two months,” Coletta said.

“This is a weird game; everything turns around quick. You’ve just got to be patient.

“The break was kind of therapeutic. I was not playing that well at the start of the year so I needed some time with my coach (Marty Joyce) and take a step back. I just get impatient. I think we all might have that to a degree.

“If the results aren’t there for the first few events you start to panic a little bit and start crunching the numbers and points and then money comes into it. The time off was good for me.

“I was rusty last week but to turn it around quickly, I’m pretty happy with myself.”