After five straight days of drizzling rain in Victoria, the sun finally came out at the Gorge Vale Golf Club and the Titleist and FootJoy Canadian PGA Assistants’ Championship.
Three players share the opening round lead after Brian McCann of Mississauga, Ont., Bryn Parry of North Vancouver and Scott Shepherd of Richmond, B.C. all fired matching five-under par 67s.
McCann is well known in Southern Ontario, having racked up victories all over the province and currently sits as the all-time money leader on the Great Lakes Tour.
In addition to his local victories, McCann has held status on the Nationwide Tour and Canadian Tour over the years. He joined the Ontario PGA Zone in 2010 from the Tournament Player Division to work at The Academy at BraeBen in Mississauga.
“It was the first time in a long time that my putter finally matched up with the quality of my ball striking,” said McCann, whose best finish on the Nationwide Tour was a tie for ninth in the 2004 Virginia Beach Open.
“This is a great golf course and I’m happy to be off to a great start. I’m having a lot of fun playing in a national championship again,” he added.
Parry, a two-time champion of this event, only missed one green on his Tuesday tour around Gorge Vale Golf Club.
“I felt like I had about 15-20 footers all day long and while I could have been a couple of shots lower with a hot putter, I’m very happy with where I’m at,” said Parry, who will tee it up in Hawaii at the first stage of PGA Qualifying School in a few weeks.
“The leaderboard is packed with guys that know how to go low so (Wednesday), I’ll just try to birdie every hole as I know the other guys will try and do the same,” added Parry.
Shepherd, the assistant professional at Hi-Knoll Golf Centre in Surrey, B.C., carded six birdies against one bogey to share the leading heading into the second round.
Ed Maunder of Whitby, Ont., Mike Belbin of the Royal Mayfair Golf and Country Club in Edmonton and Jamie Kureluk of Cottonwood Golf and Country Club near Calgary sit one shot back after four-under-par rounds of 68.
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