After torrential rain, wind and foggy conditions, the sun broke through on the 18th green to shine for just one moment on 28-year-old Matt Palsenbarg of Northview Golf and Country Club in British Columbia as he made par on the final hole to win the 2009 Titleist & FootJoy Canadian PGA Assistants’ Championship.
Palsenbarg carded rounds of 70-67-69 for a 10-under par 206 total to capture his first national title at Golf de la Faune in Quebec City. He made two eagles, three birdies and two bogeys en route to a final round 69 today.
“The last seven holes were such a grind to just save par,” said Palsenbarg, who takes home $9,000 for the win. “I just took advantage of the weather today, I love playing in the rain, because everyone else hates it.
“Since I’m a long hitter, the rain actually helps me hit the ball an accurate length and makes the shorter hitters hit it short of where they need to be,” he added.
Palsenbarg’s drives are 330 yards on average and he won the Western Canada division in the World Long Drive Competition in 2003. He finished 12-under-par on the par fives throughout the three rounds of the Assistants championship and drove the par four 13th hole for a three-foot putt in the final round.
For full scores, see the website, www.cpga.com.
It was a day for Albertans as Darryl James of the National Golf Academy and Mike Belbin of Royal Mayfair Golf Club helped capture the provincial title and sit atop individual standings at the Titleist and FootJoy Canadian PGA Assistants’ Championship at Golf de la Faune in Quebec City.
James and Belbin are at nine-under-par after shooting a 68 and 67, respectively, in Tuesday’s second round.
They hold a one-stroke lead over Dave Levesque of Rattlesnake Point Golf Club in Ontario , John McCann of Fairtree Golf Centre, also in Ontario, Serge Thivierge of Vallee du Richelieu in Quebec and Kevin B. Tremblay of Les Dunes, also in Quebec..
Belbin posted six birdies and one bogey on Tuesday. “We were definitely lucky with the draw today. This morning, the guys had the unfortunate weather. This afternoon, the conditions were very favourable, although it was a little tough to see because of the fog settling in the last few holes,” said Belbin.
“(Wednesday) will be a war because this is the type of course where birdies can be found and they are there for taking if you want to grab them as long as you keep the ball in play,” he said of the final round.
James was coming off a first round that saw him search for 12 lost balls.
“I honestly didn’t think my game was in the shape it needed to be in before I got here, so it has been a pleasant surprise over the last few days, but I can tell you that I am working really hard in each round and it has been pretty mentally draining,” he said.
Bryn Parry of British Columbia’s Seymour Creek Golf Centre struggled Tuesday, finishing with a two-over-par 74 in contrast to his course record 63 in the first round.
“Every time I hit the ball, I went left and I ended up in the hazards five times in seven holes, just trying to be aggressive. Like yesterday, guys will make up eight or nine shots out here on the course,” said Parry, who is still just two shots off the lead.
Alberta also hung on to win the InterZone team competition after going into Tuesday’s competition with a two-shot lead over Ontario, which finished second.
Bryn Parry of Seymour Creek Golf and Country Club in North Vancouver broke the course record by two strokes and has a commanding four-shot lead over the rest of the field heading at the Titleist and FootJoy Canadian PGA Assistants’ Championship at Golf de la Faune in Quebec City..
The two-time Canadian PGA Assistant champion (1999, 2005) recorded seven birdies and one eagle en route to his 63.
At the turn, Parry was two-under-par and trying to match the remarkable play of his fellow competitor Carl Desjardins who had posted five birdies through the first seven holes.
On the back nine, Parry birdied the 10th, eagled the 11th, then birdied 12, 14, 17 and 18 to finish the back nine with a 29. That feat almost matched his back nine 28 in the final round in last year event in Beloeil, Que., where he tied for 10th.
“Playing with guys like Carl in your group and collectively making four eagles between the three of us is such a help to your game because you watch each other hit perfect shots which, in turn, forces you to make the same adjustments in your game,” said Parry.
Parry has had an outstanding year on the Vancouver Golf Tour with four wins this season. He will attend the PGA Tour qualifying school later this year.
“I wish I could go play my second round right now,” said Parry. “I didn’t miss any greens and didn’t chip at all, which is always a great feeling. I think I had one putt of 10 feet on the fringe to save par, but the rest were tap-ins.”
It seems that Parry’s game is hitting a hot streak after posting scores of 65 three times and 66 twice in the last three weeks with friends.
“This is no doubt my best score posted in a tournament, but I know I can’t slip up (on Tuesday). I have to go full steam ahead or guys will catch up pretty quickly, I have to play the full 54 holes to my limit,” said Parry who played on the Nationwide Tour in 2007.
Brian Groves of Kaneff Golf Academies in Ontario, Darryl James of National Golf Academy in Alberta and Vincent Dumouchel of La Prairie in Quebec are four shots behind Parry at five-under-par 67.
The field will be cut to 60 plus ties after Tuesday’s second round.
Alberta leads the InterZone team competition by two shots over Ontario.