Posted On: Thursday, September 7, 2017
Five players share the first-round lead at the Mackenzie Tour’s Ontario Championship, which is being played at National Pines Golf Club near Barrie.
Murray, Kentucky’s Patrick Newcomb, Camarillo, California’s Johnny Ruiz, Tampa, Florida’s Lee McCoy, St. Simon’s Island, Georgia’s Scott Wolfes, and Raleigh, North Carolina’s Carter Jenkins each shot rounds of 7-under 65 on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Ontario Championship.
The quintet finished the day one stroke ahead of six players at 6-under 66, with 21 players within two strokes of the lead after Thursday’s play.
The best first-day performance by the three golfers from the BruceGreySimcoe region was a 72 by Mark Hoffman of Wasaga Beach who is tied for 67th.
Eric Hawerchuk of Barrie carded a 75 and is tied for 109th, while Drew Nesbitt of Shanty Bay Golf Club near Barrie (pictured above) recorded a 76 and is tied for 119th.
Newcomb, the winner last week at the Cape Breton Open, was bogey-free on the day with seven birdies and said he was even better on the greens than during his three-stroke victory last week.
“I holed a couple of putts today that I haven’t been holing, even last week, so it was good. I hit 17 greens today and just had no stress, and I almost chipped in on the one I missed, so it was a nice, easy day,” said Newcomb.
Ruiz, a winner earlier this year at the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel, birdied three of his last four to reach 7-under and said he was comfortable on this week’s course, which was designed by Tom McBroom – the same designer as Whitewater Golf Club, where he captured his win in Thunder Bay.
“The course really suits my eye. If I can keep it in the fairway and hit a couple of irons close, I can play really well this week. It’s a matter of hitting them close and making a few putts here and there,” said Ruiz.
McCoy, who also owns a win earlier this year at the Freedom 55 Financial Open, said a great day tee-to-green led him to his 7-under 65 despite minimal help from a cold putter.
“My ball striking was awesome. Most of my birdies were tap-ins, and I didn’t really make any putts, which has kind of been the trend lately. I did have a couple of holes where it felt a little bit better, so I’m starting to feel a little bit more comfortable and am just working the kinks out on some of the shorter ones,” said McCoy.
Wolfes and Jenkins each birdied their final holes of the day to share the lead, one ahead of Kentucky’s Hunter Stewart, Missouri's John Kelly, Oklahoma’s Max McGreevy, Texas’ Brian Dwyer, Georgia’s Greyson Sigg and England’s Charlie Bull.
It is the 11th event of the 2017 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.
For full results, CLICK HERE