Brian Hutton of Burlington, Ont., took advantage of an early morning tee time and posted a four-under-par 68 and to take the first round lead at the Titleist and FootJoy Canadian PGA Club Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Hutton, head professional at Southbrook Golf and Country Club, recorded five birdies against one bogey to lead by a single shot over 2003 champion Brett Burgeson of Airdrie, AB, Marc Girouard of St-Sauveur, Que., Adam Chamberlain of Bathurst, N.B. and 2000 champion Graham Gunn of Kanata, Ont.
“I had an early start and struck the ball great all day,” said Hutton, a one-time Florida resident. “I love this event and I know my members and owners back home will be following my play, so hopefully I can keep it going for them (Tuesday).”
Chamberlain was one over on the front nine before turning it up on the way in with an eagle on the par five 16th hole and a birdie on the 18th hole to join the pack at three under.
“I got off to a shaky start with bogeys on the first and third holes, but it seems like the round turned around when I made a bomb of a putt on the 10th hole,” said Chamberlain, one of the youngest head professionals in the country at 28 years of age.
“My friends from the Atlantic Zone are down here with me and we’re having a blast, so hopefully, I can keep playing well right to the very end,” added Chamberlain.
Girouard and Burgeson have pretty much glued their names to the top of the leaderboard every year in Port St. Lucie and it looks as if nothing will change in 2010. Two of the steadiest players in the field lived up to their reputations as Girouard made four birdies and one bogey, while Burgeson made three birdies and no bogeys.
Defending champion Ben Boudreau of Longueuil, Que., is in a tie for 35th after an opening round of 75.
The shot of the day belonged to Marc Foucault of Hull, Que., as he recorded a hole in one on the 166-yard par three sixth hole.
Ottawa Valley leads the Inter-Zone competition by one shot over the B.C. and two shots over Quebec Zone.
The 36-hole Inter-Zone competition is comprised of four players on each team representing their Canadian PGA zone over the first two rounds. The team score is calculated from the best three out of four scores accumulated over the first two rounds.