PGA Tour – written June 5, 2014
Round 1 – Bayview Place Island Savings Open pres. by Times Colonist
Contact: Brian Decker
June 5, 2014 BrianDecker@pgatourhq.com
First Round Leaderboard – (Bold denotes Canadian)
1. Brock Mackenzie 63 (-7)
2. Jake Sarnoff 64 (-6)
T-3. Riley Wheeldon 65 (-5)
T-3. Michael Lavery 65 (-5)
(June 5 – Victoria, BC) – Yakima, Washington’s Brock Mackenzie got his quest for a second Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist title off to a good start on Thursday, firing a 7-under 63 at Uplands Golf Club to lead by one over Manhattan Beach, California’s Jake Sarnoff.
The 2010 champion went bogey free on Thursday, with the 63 representing his best score at Uplands in his sixth appearance. The 32-year old said his familiarity with the golf course was key to his performance in getting off to a good start.
“There aren’t too many courses other than maybe my home course that I’m this comfortable on,” said Mackenzie, a former All-American at the University of Washington. “For some reason everything just kind of suits my eye. I know where to miss it and where to hit it, and it’s just kind of up to executing. I rolled it a couple of putts today.”
Few players have as strong a track record as Mackenzie at Uplands – in addition to his win, he also posted a pair of top five finishes in 2009 and 2011 and was in the hunt on Sunday last year before fading with a Sunday 77.
“I’ve had some nice success at Uplands and I’ve always enjoyed coming back here. The people are great,” said Mackenzie, who said his familiarity with the event made it one of his favourites on PGA TOUR Canada. “I see the same walking scorers each year and say ‘Hey, do you want to come walk with me this week?’ So it’s pretty cool to see.”
One shot back of Mackenzie with a 64 was Sarnoff, playing in just his second PGA TOUR Canada event. The 24-year old, like Mackenzie, was also bogey-free on Thursday, and said he managed to navigate Uplands successfully despite a few wayward shots.
“I just kind of missed in the right spots,” said Sarnoff. “I was in the rough a lot but I had a lot of open shots and I putted really well. It’s always good to have no bogeys on the scorecard.”
WHEELDON RIGHT AT HOME AND IN THE HUNT
As a native of nearby Comox, British Columbia, the Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist is as close as it gets to a home event for Riley Wheeldon. With a solo third finish here last year and another solid start on Thursday, it’s clear the 23-year old treats it as such and seems to find his best game at Uplands.
“I’ve been saying it all week. I love this tournament,” said Wheeldon, who carded a 6-under 65 on Thursday to sit tie for third through one round. “It’s my favourite tournament on the schedule. I was ready to go this week and ready to give it another go and hopefully improve on last year.”
The 2014 season has been an up-and-down one for Wheeldon, who has made one of four cuts on the Web.com Tour while battling through a hip injury and began his PGA TOUR Canada season with a T-15 finish at last week’s PC Financial Open. He comes to Uplands with the hopes of kick starting his season in front of fans, friends and family on a course where he has an upper hand in local knowledge.
“Apart from maybe a couple guys out here, I’ve played out here as much as anybody,” said Wheeldon. “I have some people who have made the drive from North Island to come watch, so I have some people supporting me down here. It’s as close as I get to a hometown event.”
ALLENBY FEELING DUE FOR A BREAKTHROUGH
Now in his seventh season on PGA TOUR Canada, Surrey, BC’s James Allenby is looking to break through and contend for his first win – something he admitted he felt he would have achieved by now and is overdue for.
“I’ve felt that from the start. I thought that’s where I would be, but it’s a lot tougher than I expected coming out here,” said Allenby, who has seven top-10s in 50 starts on PGA TOUR Canada. “There’s a lot more competition than I thought there was. It’s been a few years out here and I kind of feel like I’m due. I feel my game’s good enough to be one of the best out here. It’s all about putting it all together and believing in yourself.”
Allenby got things moving in the right direction on Thursday, reaching 6-under at one point before settling for a 4-under 66 – tied for the low round of the afternoon wav – to share fifth place through 18 holes. The 29-year old admitted he took a hard look at his approach this offseason and is ready to take the next step in 2014.
“Starting this season, I thought it might have been a kind of a mindset that I was missing. Before, I think I was just happy to be out here and to play well. Now I feel like I need to be more than happy. I need to be the best, and show everyone that I can be a strong player.”
Weather: 20 degrees. Winds 15 km/h. Sunny.
Devin Daniels recorded the first Double Eagle in PGA TOUR Canada history on Thursday, finding the cup with a hybrid from 242 yards on the par-5 12th on his second shot
Brock Mackenzie’s sister is Golf Channel analyst and former LPGA player Paige Mackenzie
Riley Wheeldon started his tournament with a 5-under 65 for the second year in a row
PC Financial Open champion Joel Dahmen birdied his final three holes for a 4-under 66
The current cutline is at 1-under, with 61 players at T-40 or better
For scores, go to http://www.pgatour.com/canada/en_us/leaderboard.html