Players took advantage of ideal scoring conditions Monday in the opening round of the PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club.
Twenty-three players were under par when play was suspended due to darkness.
Eddward Boudreau (Gorge Vale Golf Club), Dave Levesque (La Prairie Club de Golf), Jacob Patte (Oshawa Golf Club) and Gary Hartford (Riverside Golf Club) lead the way after 5 under-par rounds of 66.
“The key to most of the rounds out here will be the par fives and par threes,” said Boudreau, who recorded birdies on three of Jasper’s four par threes.
For me to turn it around and birdie almost all the par threes and make a few pars on some easy, getable par fives is different,” he added/
Levesque, who is currently ranked fourth on PGA of Canada rankings, agrees, saying the classic Stanley Thompson design can be taken advantage of through strategic golf.
“You need to avoid some spots on the golf course and you need to think your way all through the round,” he said.
Shingo Akizuki (Mayfair Lakes), Mark Strong (Vancouver Golf Club), Michael Coghill (Niakwa Country Club), Colin Murray (Peninsula Lakes) and defending champion Mike Belbin (Royal Mayfair) are all one shot back at four-under.
“Conditions were really good, greens were good speeds and this golf course is awesome,” he says. “We had dead calm winds and 24 degrees today, plus you’re basically on top of the world out here in Jasper—how can you not enjoy yourself?”
The tournament resumes Tuesday with a 36-hole cut to the low 60 players and ties. The first round will resume at 9 a.m. for the four groups with holes left to play, while the second round will commence as scheduled at 8:30 am.
The 36-hole InterZone competition compiled of four players on each team representing their respective PGA Zone will also be decided at the end of the championship’s second round of play.
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