Lethbridge, Alta. (RCGA) – Graham Baillargeon of Mississauga, Ont. shot an even-par 71 during today’s second round to cling onto a share of his opening-round lead at the 2008 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship
Baillargeon, who sits at 4-under par for the championship, has new company atop the leaderboard in Cam Burke of New Hamburg, Ont. Burke shot a 3-under 68 to hurl himself into a tie for the lead with Baillargeon, who is a member of the National Development Golf team.
While Burke took advantage of improved weather conditions, yesterday’s leaders couldn’t benefit from today’s limited wind.
“It felt like a totally different golf course out there,” said Baillargeon. “I didn’t hit a lot of greens in regulation and had to rely on my short game to help get up-and-down. If it wasn’t for my wedge, I might have gotten into some deeper trouble today.”
A group of players sit tied for third at 3-under including Darren Hupfer of Edmonton, Scott Stiles of Calgary, Lindsay Reynolds of Christina Lake, B.C. and Ben Tewes of Lincoln, Nebraska.
Another four players are within striking distance at 2-under, two-strokes back of the lead, including Mathieu Gingras of Moncton, N.B., Eugene Wong of North Vancouver, B.C., Alexandre Kaleka of France and Christopher Ross of Dundas, Ont.
In all, 17 players sit under par for the championship and should be considered as likely contenders for the national title. Another six players are even-par, a mere four-strokes back. Tomorrow’s third-round will likely be a moving day, with players trying to put themselves in the best possible position for Thursday’s fourth and final round.
In what can easily be called the turning point of the tournament up to now, Trent Leon of Dallas, Texas was disqualified after leaving the scoring tent without signing his scorecard. Leon fired a sizzling 5-under par 66 on the day and would have sat with a cushy three stoke lead over the new co-leaders.
Leon, whose sister Taylor will tee-it-up this week with other LPGA Tour professionals at the 2008 CN Canadian Women’s Open at Ottawa Hunt Club, knew he had made a mistake and unfortunately had to be disqualified.
“It’s pretty unfortunate,” said 22-year old Leon, “There isn’t much more that I can say. I’m 22 years old and should take responsibility for signing my card.”
Leon will join many of the other competitors this week who will head to the U.S. Amateur Championship being held August 15 – 24 at Pinehurst Golf Resort in North Carolina.
The shot of the day goes to Blaine Kruger of Lac La Biche, Alta. who carded an ace on the 138 yard par-3 12th hole. Kruger hit a wedge for the elevated tee before seeing his ball landing 10-feet past the green and sucking back into the cup. The ace is Kruger’s third in the past two years.
“I was pretty pumped,” said Kruger following play. “I saw the ball in the air and yelled do it. I guess I’ve just been pretty lucky the past couple of years.”