Four atop leaderboard at delayed Elk Ridge Open – PGA TOUR

November 14, 2022
November 14, 2022 admin

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LAKE WASKESIU, Saskatchewan—Michael Blair, Taylor Funk, Charles Wang and Harrison Ott all were able to finish their opening rounds in the Elk Ridge Open on Thursday. They also all shot 5-under 65s, and they share the clubhouse lead at the weather-delayed third Fortinet Cup tournament of the PGA TOUR Canada season. Seventy-six players from the 156-player field were unable to finish their rounds when officials halted play for good due to darkness. Play will resume Friday morning. As it stands now, the quartet lead four Americans—Joseph Harrison, Justin Doeden, Jordan Hahn and Noah Goodwin—by a stroke. Of those still on the course, Matthew Short is 4-under halfway through his round.
Blair was more than happy with his day. The 30-year-old from Hamilton, Ontario, recorded six birdies along the way with only one bogey marring his scorecard. Of those completing their rounds, Blair may be the most confident heading into Friday. He noted that the course is playing into his hands. He played the front nine in even-par (one birdie and one bogey) and then rallied after making the turn.
“(Elk Ridge) is not the widest off the tees. You’ve got to drive it well,” Blair said. “I feel like driving is one of my strengths So if you get it in play around here it’s scorable. I felt like it played into my hands a little bit.
“The front nine is the tougher nine, with no par-5s,” he continued. “There are a couple of tough holes. I was just trying to get through that nine because there are couple of (birdie) opportunities on the back nine.”
He started a streak of four consecutive birdies at No. 10 then added one more on the 16th.
“I managed to make birdie on 10 after not hitting a great tee shot. From there, I started getting in the fairway giving myself some short irons,” he added.
Wang was more than glad he was able to finish his day’s work, allowing for a little extra sleep after having to suffer through some stops and starts to his day as bad weather plagued Elk Ridge Resort. In the early afternoon, officials eventually pulled players off the course due to lightning in the area. While his momentum slowed on his back nine after the delay, Wang opened his day with a birdie, fell to even-par when he bogeyed the fourth hole then added three more birdies—on Nos. 6, 8 and 9—before making his eagle on No. 10.
“I just struck the ball really well and positioned myself in the fairway,” he said of his day. “The course is really gettable from the middle of the fairway.” That’s where Wang was when he made his first eagle of the season. When we played the hole, it wasn’t too windy. I hit driver to the middle of the fairway, 270 yards in. Yeah, it was pretty good.”
Funk, the only son of PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions veteran Fred Funk is happy with his position among those who completed their rounds. The younger Funk had a bogey-free day, with four birdies on his back nine and one on his front, No. 6, for his 65.
“I knew I was close last week. I’ve been playing pretty good. My irons have been good, and you have to hit some good irons around here to put yourself in position,” Funk said. “I did that today. I never really had many chances to make bogey.”
Did you know for the third straight tournament, former University of Tennessee standout Brayden Garrison was a Monday qualifier? He opened with a 71 (1-over) in the first round Thursday. Garrison made the cut in both Victoria and Edmonton. He wound up tying for 31st and 61st, respectively, in those tourneys.
Key Information
How the Canadians Fare
Michael Blair
65 (5-under)
Drew Nesbitt
67 (3-under)
Max Sear
67 (3-under)
Ty Campbell
68 (2-under)
Kaleb Gorbahn
68 (2-under)
Lawren Rowe
68 (2-under)
Jeevan Sihota
68 (2-under)
Zach Anderson
69 (1-under)
Kade Johnson
69 (1-under)
Brendan MacDougall
69 (1-under)
James Colin Davis
70 (even)
Brendan Leonard
70 (even)
Noah Steele
70 (even)
Tony Gil
71 (1-over)
Joey Savoie
71 (1-over)
Roman Timmerman (a)
71 (1-over)
Riley Wheeldon
71 (1-over)
Henry Lee
72 (2-over)
Max Sekulic
74 (4-over)
Did not finish first round
Wil Bateman
-2 through 6 holes
Andrew Harrison
-1 through 9 holes
Jimmy Jones
-1 through 6 holes
James Allenby
Even through 9 holes
Anthony Brodeur
Even through 3 holes
Austin Ryan
Even through 9 holes
Jamie Sadlowski
Even through 6 holes
Blair Bursey
+1 through 6 holes
Jared du Toit
+1 through 6 holes
Marc Bourgeois
+2 through 3 holes
Josh Nagy
+2 through 3 holes
Etienne Papineau
+2 through 9 holes
Chris Crisologo
+3 through 6 holes
Cory Selander
+4 through 3 holes
Chris R. Wilson
+5 through 9 holes
Fortinet Cup Standings
(ATB Classic presented by Volvo Edmonton)
Wil Bateman (Canada)
Scott Stevens (U.S.)
Jake Knapp (U.S.)
Joe Highsmith (U.S.)
Jorge Villar (Mexico)
Cooper Dossey (U.S.)
Chris Crisologo
Joey Savoie (Canada)
Jeffrey Kang (U.S.)
Jake Scott (U.S.)
ATB Classic presented by Edmonton Volvo champion Wil Bateman only managed to play six holes of his opening round. He’s at 2-under, with birdies on his third and fifth holes of the day (Nos. 12 and 14).
The winner of the season-opening Royal Beach Victoria Open, Scott Stevens, had a difficult start to his tournament. He’s 3-over through six holes.
Charles Wang has had a slow beginning to his third PGA TOUR Canada season. He missed the cut in the season-opener, and while he posted four consecutive sub-par rounds at the ATB Classic last week (69-69-70-70), he could only muster a tie for 45th. In his previous 23-tournament career in Canada that began in 2018, Wang has posted only one top-10, a tie for 10th in 2018 at the Osprey Valley Open outside Toronto.
Drew Nesbitt opted not to complicate matters at the Elk Ridge Open. The 27-year-old from Toronto took an approach that led to a round of 3-under. He had four birdies (three on the front nine) and just one bogey in his early quest for victory in PGA TOUR Canada’s third tournament of the season.
This season, Canada’s Drew Nesbitt played three PGA TOUR Latinoamerica tournaments, making the cut in all three. He finished 106th in the Totalplay Cup standings and didn’t qualify for the season-ending Bupa Tour Championship taking place right now in Tulum, Mexico. In addition to his PGA TOUR Latinoamerica play, he also made one PGA TOUR start, at the Wells Fargo Championship, missing the cut in suburban Washington, D.C.
“I just struck the ball really well and positioned myself in the fairway. The course is really gettable from the middle of the fairway.” – Charles Wang
“When we played the hole, it wasn’t too windy. I hit driver to the middle of the fairway, 270 yards in. Yeah, it was pretty good.” – Charles Wang on his eagle on No. 10
“I had the bad draw for the first two weeks of the year. I was hoping with this draw today I would get lucky. We got poured on for four holes, but other than that it turned out to be nice. The sun even came out. In general, we had good conditions out there today.” – Michael Blair
“It gets a little boring. You talk with all your buddies, and that gets boring, so you start wandering around. I’m just glad I got to finish. Five-hour rain delays are a lot more fun when you’re playing well.” – Taylor Funk on how he spent his time during the stoppage of play
“I was a rough finish, which was too bad. I had a chance to shoot 66, 65. So we’ll see if I can get that [Friday].” – Lawren Rowe
It was definitely tiring. It would have been nice to get those last couple of shots in before the horn blew. Everyone else is used to that out here. You’re always on one side or the other. It’s nothing that we haven’t done before. – Lawren Rowe
“I felt aside from a couple of holes, I felt like I managed myself around the course pretty well. I wasn’t in a whole lot of trouble and gave myself some good looks.” – Lawren Rowe
“I definitely hit the ball decent on the front and gave myself a bunch of wedges. There are a bunch of shorter par-4s there. I hit a bunch stone dead for some easy birdies. That always helps the card.” –Lawren Rowe
“A simple gameplan. I made a few putts on the front but kind of coasted coming in, I guess. So, at the end of the day it’s not a bad start, but it could have been a few better.” – Drew Nesbitt
“It just makes it more difficult to play in those conditions. We were fortunate to have dry and not too much wind. I’ll take the conditions,” – Drew Nesbitt
“The greens are really good. I’m sure it’ll just continue to progress nicely throughout the week. But all things are good.” – Drew Nesbitt
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