VICTORIA, British Columbia (Aug. 6, 2008)--Ryan Hallisey of Granite Bay, Calif., tied the competitive course record at Royal Colwood Golf Club with an 8-under-par 62 today to take a one-shot over Derek Tolan of Boulder, Colo., at the midway point of the 42nd Pacific Coast Amateur Championship.
Hallisey opened with a 69 yesterday over the venerable layout (it was designed by Vernon Macan in 1913). Today he made eight birdies and 10 pars and his 9-under-par 131 is a shot ahead of Tolan, who shot 65 today. Co-first-round leader Jordan Irwin of Calgary, AB followed his 65 yesterday with a 68 today and is in third place at 7-under-par 133, a shot ahead of Jarin Todd of Woodinville, Wash.
The 20-year-old Hallisey, a rising junior at the University of Nevada who won last year’s Northern California GA Amateur, tied the competitive course record at Royal Colwood set by Craig Doell in 2006 (ironically, Doell was also competing today; he’s tied for 38th after rounds of 72-71).
Starting on the 10th hole, Hallisey parred the first four holes, then birdied the 14th and 18th holes to shoot 33 on his first nine. He then made seven birdies in nine holes on the front nine, including the last five in a row.
“I was knocking iron shots close all day,” said Hallisey after his blazing finish, “and I finally started making some putts.” On the par-5 fifth hole, Hallisey hit the green in two and barely missed a 25-foot eagle putt. He sank a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 6, drilled a nine iron to within three feet on the seventh, made a four-footer for birdie on short eighth and then finished his round with an eight-foot birdie putt on the 444-yard, par-4 ninth.
The 22-year-old Tolan, who is entering his senior year at the University of Colorado, is also clearly in a zone. “I’m hitting the ball really well right now,” said Tolan after today’s round. “I’m taking the fat side of the fairways and greens and going for birdies when I get a chance.”
After opening with four birdies in seven holes (including three in a row), Tolan, who is playing in his fifth Pacific Coast Amateur, stalled somewhat with a bogey 5 on the ninth hole. Then on the 446-yard 12th hole, the toughest on the course, Tolan drained a birdie putt from fringe to get back on track. He also birdied the 14th and 16th holes.
Defending champion Mike Knight of Calgary shot 69 today and is tied for sixth, five shots behind Hallisey. Knight is seeking to become the first player since Billy Mayfair in 1987-88 to win back-to-back titles. He’s tied with co-first-round leader James Allenby, who slipped to a 1-over-par 71 today after his opening-round 65.
The third round will be played tomorrow and the final round on Friday, with tee times beginning at 8 a.m.