Brandon Hagy of Westlake Village, Calif., shot a seven-under 65 at the Lakes Golf Club on Thursday to take the solo first round lead at the Cape Breton Celtic Classic in Beon Eoin, N.S.
Hagy is playing on a sponsor’s exemption at the PGA Tour Canada event and took full advantage, carding seven birdies, an eagle and two bogeys to lead by one over Matt Harmon of Grand Rapids, Mich.
“It’s actually the second time I’ve been here in about two months, so it’s a long way, but I seem to like the place,” said Hagy, referring to his start at the Web .com Tour’s Nova Scotia Open in July in Halifax, where he tied for 40th.
“This is my sixth professional event, so it’s still pretty new for me. I’m just trying to get some experience against some good competition.”
One shot behind Harmon was a group of four players at five-under 67, including Seann Harlingten of West Vancouver, Daniel McCarthy of Syracuse, N.Y., Adam Long of Jupiter, Fla., and Chris Williams of Moscow, Id.
Eugene Wong of North Vancouver is among three players a shot behind at four-under 68 and he hopes to find some consistency and put four solid rounds together.
“I’ve had some struggles on one day, but I think I figured out the reason why I would have one bad round out there. I need to keep it more in play and not be so aggressive,” said Wong, who posted five birdies and one bogey on the day.
“Sometimes I push myself too hard to try and catch people,” he said.
With two events to go, Wong finds himself in good position to be rewarded for his 2014 season at 16th on the Order of Merit.
In addition to the top five earning status on the Web .com Tour, the top 10 players at season’s end earn an exemption into the final stage of Q-School, with the top 20 getting into the second stage.
“My first goal is to be top 10 at least, to get into final stage if not second, but yeah, I’m just trying to let my game do all the work,” said Wong.
“I try not to think about it. Obviously, it’s on the back of your mind, but for me, I know if I play to my abilities, I should be able to get in the top five or so,” he said.
For the first round scores, click here.