Matt Marshall posted a bogey-free, seven-under-par 65 to take the first-round lead at the Mackenzie Tour–PGA Tour Canada’s Cape Breton Celtic Classic.
He leads Order of Merit leader J.J. Spaun and Ryan Brehm by one stroke, while nine players, including Canadians Adam Svensson, Taylor Pendrith, Ben Silverman and Stuart Anderson trail by two strokes after the opening round at The Lakes Golf Club.
Marshall’s 65 was the third straight week he had opened with a round in the 60s and the fourth time in his last five starts. It was just one shy of his low round of the year, an eight-under-par 64 at the Staal Foundation Open in July in Thunder Bay.
“It was a nice way to finish with birdies on this last two par fives (16 and 18) because I didn’t play the par fives particularly well before that,” said Marshall, “Everything went well today. I made a couple of putts and it was just one of those days where everything went accordingly.”
Marshall knows it will take a high finish this week if he has any chance to make it into the tour’s final event of the year, the Freedom 55 Financial Classic next week in London, Ont. The event is limited to the top 60 players on the money list after the Cape Breton event concludes. He is currently 113th on the Order of Merit.
“To be honest, I’m far enough back where I can just let it go. I’m probably going to have to finish in the top five to get into next week’s event. It’s just one of those things where I can just go out and play and see what happens,” said Marshall.
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