Who is Pierceson Coody? Get used to the new name near the top of the leaderboard
Pierceson Coody hits his drive on the eighth hole during the first round of the 2023 Honda Classic.
There were some comfortably familiar names lurking near the top of the Honda Classic's first-round leaderboard. The likes of Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner were within a couple shots of longtime PGA Tour stalwart Billy Horschel's co-lead at five-under 65.
And then there was one old name sporting a new twist: Pierceson Coody.
Pierceson and twin brother Parker have been known for some time to avid golf fans who watched their stellar amateur careers. Don't be surprised if you start seeing it more and more of them in the future as professionals, especially after Pierceson's opening round of four-under-par 66 at PGA National's Champion Course.
Charles Coody takes a picture of his grandsons during the Masters Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2008 tournament.
Pierceson and Parker are longtime students of Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher Chris Como, who coaches Bryson DeChambeau and Day among others, and they were stars on the Texas junior golf scene.
The pair spent four years at the University of Texas, where, despite a freak accident that lead to both brothers breaking the same bone in their right arms, they helped guide the team to its second NCAA championship in 11 years.
Pierceson turned pro after NCAAs, having earned a Korn Ferry Tour card for being No. 1 in the PGA Tour University Velocity Global Ranking, and is in the midst of establishing himself as one of the best KFT players. In 15 starts, he won twice, notched two other top-10s. He reportedly was a key target for the LIV Golf, ultimately turning down a "crazy" offer from the Saudi-funded upstart tour to establish himself as the lastest Coody to grace the PGA Tour.
The Coodys are the grandsons of 1971 Masters champion Charles Coody—for whom the brothers caddied during the Par-3 Contest in 2008—and the son of Kyle Coody, who played on the Korn Ferry Tour. Pierceson Coody is making his third PGA Tour start his week via a sponsor's exemption, while Parker (who shot an opening-round 74) birdied the last hole of the Monday qualifier to earn his tour debut.
Pierceson's bogey-free opening round at PGA National left him one off the early lead. "It was really nice. I hit my irons great. I made some really nice putts. Had some really cool par saves. It kept my round going and let me get a few more on the back nine," he said.
While his pro career is still very much in the early stages, the former U.S. Walker Cup player has become comfortable playing on big stages. "It really just feels like another professional event. I've only played about 13 or 14 professional or I guess, whatever, 15 events. But other than the big grandstands it's not that different. You're just playing golf, you're trying to put a good score together. No real nerves out there. Just happy to play well."