Ross Beal of Uniontown, Ohio, carded a five-under 66 on Friday at Hylands Golf Club in Ottawa to take the 36-hole lead at the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada’s National Capital Open to Support Our Troops.
The 30-year old Mackenzie Tour rookie reached 11-under through 36 holes to build a two-shot lead over Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Charlie Bull of London, England, heading into the weekend.
“I was able to limit my mistakes. I got loose a couple of times, but was able to make some easy pars and when I got some chances, I finally made a couple of putts and got warm,” said Beal.
Beal will play with Pendrith in Saturday’s final twosome in a duel of long bombers, with the pair currently sitting 11th and first, respectively, in 2015 Mackenzie Tour driving distance.
Beal is averaging 310.9 yards per drive, with Pendrith’s hitting 339.1 yards per drive on average.
“I know Taylor real well and I think that will make it easier for both of us,” said Beal, who was a runner-up in a playoff with Pendrith to Drew Weaver at this year’s season-opening PC Financial Open.
“I think there’s an advantage on some of the holes where some of the shorter guys might not be able to hit some of the same clubs into greens that we are and I think that’s a big advantage,” added Beal.
The Youngstown State University grad admitted he expects to feel pressure on the weekend, but that he’s well-equipped to handle what the course and field will throw his way with two rounds to go.
“I’d be surprised if I didn’t feel the nerves a little bit, but I’m looking forward to the challenge tomorrow,” said Beal.
Pendrith had eight birdies and an eagle against three bogeys to finish with a seven-under 64.
“I’m pleased with the score today. I had three bogeys and they were pretty sloppy, but if you shoot seven-under with three bogeys, you’re doing something right,” said Pendrith.
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