Beon-Yeong Lee of Montreal, Lucas Leibel of Toronto and Tyler Weworski of Carlsbad, Calif., shot matching 68s Tuesday to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the Canadian Tour Fall Qualifiying School in Burlington, Ont.
The trio managed to negotiate the tough conditions at Crosswinds Golf and Country Club, where gusts of wind and fast, firm greens kept all but seven players from breaking par on the par-72, 7,240-yard layout.
Leibel, who shot a course record 63 at Smuggler’s Glen Golf Course at The Great Waterway Classic two weeks ago, birdied his final two holes.
“I’ve been playing well the last few weeks. I’m just trying to stay out of my own way and play well when I can,” said Leibel. “It was pretty windy out there, so I just tried to stay patient and go after birdie putts when I had a chance.”
Weworski got off to a hot start with an eagle on the second hole and added five birdies. The 22-year old says he’s taken an aggressive game plan this week and will continue to attack flagsticks.
“My goal is to try and win this week,” said Weworski. “I played really solid today and I want to keep that going the next three days.”
Weworski said playing the par fives well allowed him to bounce back from bogeys. In addition to his eagle at the second, Weworski had birdies on the par five 11th and 15th holes to steady his round.
“I bogeyed eight and nine, but stayed positive and took advantage of some of the easier holes,” said Weworski.
Lee, who moved to Montreal in 2006 after growing up in South Korea, said he’s hoping to use the Canadian Tour as a stepping stone.
“I know there are a lot of good players out here and this is the first step to go to the next stage,” said Lee, who added that the solid opening round takes some pressure off him for the rest of the week.
“I know the next three rounds are going to be a bit easier for me. I’m going to try and play the same game as today and hope it’s enough,” he said.
A handful of former Canadian Tour members dotted the leaderboard, including 2012 rookies Jesse Speirs and Billy Houle, who managed 71s.
Peter Campbell, another 2012 rookie, had perhaps the most interesting round of the day, shooting nines of 45-29 for a 74 that put him in a tie for 16th.
The top 15 players at the end of the week will receive exempt status on the Canadian Tour for 2013, while the next 15 and ties will receive non-exempt status.
For a complete leaderboard, click here.