With a 6 under 64, first round leader A.J. Ewart tied an Islington Golf Club course record
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Canada (August 7, 2017) - More than 250 amateur golfers teed off on Canada's Civic holiday at a pair of Toronto-area courses: Islington Golf Club and Toronto Golf Club. Only 35 broke par.
With a bogey-free 6 under 64, Team Canada Development Squad Member A.J. Ewart tied the course record at Islington Golf Club; he leads by one.
The 18-year-old Coquitlam, British Columbia native made a pair of birdies on the front 9; then added four more on the backside, including three straight on holes 12-14.
“It was just one of those days when everything fell into place,” he told Golf Canada, after walking up from the 18th green. “After the front nine I was just 2 under, then I made the turn and something just clicked and I started making putts. It turned out to be a really good day.”
“I had a lot of confidence going into this week and I expected a good round today.”
Ewart's best finish of the year to date is a T8 at the 2017 Future Links driven by Acura Pacific Championship.
Eric Flockhart, from Mississauga, Ont., sits one stroke back of Ewart; he shot 5-under-par 65, tying a competitive course record of his own at The Toronto Golf Club – where he worked in the backshop for the last three years.
Prior to the event, Toronto Golf Club Property Manager Al Schwemler said those with a finely-tuned short game and deft course management would fare well at his course this week. That's exactly what the 22-year-old Flockhart relied on in his opening round on Monday.
Flockhart made the turn at 1 under par and immediately dropped a stroke on the par-4 10th hole. The 22-year-old responded immediately with four straight birdies before finishing on 18 with a long birdie putt.
“All year I’ve been playing 18 and I can’t buy a putt on it – so it was nice to see that one go,” Flockhart told Golf Canada greenside following a 30-foot birdie putt. “It’s a tough one to read – especially when you get to the back of the green… the putts are so hard to make.”
There is a seven-way tie for third place at 4 under par made up of: Eric Johnson (Winnipeg, Man.), defending champion Hugo Bernard (Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que.), Zach Bauchou (Forest, Va.), Joey Savoie (La Prairie, Que.), Camilo Aguado (Colombia), Timmy Hildebrand (Carmel, Ind.) and Lin Yuxin (China) who all shot 66.
Defending champion Bernard got off to a shaky start with a bogey on the first hole, but the member of Canada’s National Amateur Squad, fresh off winning medallist honors at the U.S. Amateur Qualifier in Maine, steadied his nerves and bounced back quickly with a birdie on No.2, No.4 and an eagle on the fifth hole.
Team Quebec leads the inter-provincial competition battling for the Willingdon Cup after the team consisting of Bernard, Marc-Olivier Plasse (Mercier, Que.) and Étienne Papineau (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.) shot a combined 6 under par.
Team Manitoba sits three strokes back in second while Nova Scotia shot 3 over par to round out the top three.
ABOUT THE Canadian Amateur
This competition is open to male amateur golfers.
Canadian players must be a
member of a golf club in good
standing with Golf Canada or who are Gold level
members of Golf Canada’s
membership program. Foreign
players must be members in good standing with their
72-hole stroke play championship with a cut after 36
holes to the low 70
players and ties. The winner earns a spot in the PGA
Tour's Canadian Open.
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