The latest National Championship to be hosted at the Camelot Golf and Country Club is underway.
The former host site of the Canadian Amateur and Canadian Senior Men’s Championship is entertaining 109 of the top PGA of Canada professionals in the country this week for the PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada presented by Callaway Golf Canada
Leading the way after Wednesday’s 1st round round are Fairtree Golf Centre’s Billy Walsh and Nicolas Fortin of Académie de golf Lévis. Both posted 5-under par 67 Wednesday at the Tom McBroom designed club just outside of Ottawa.
Walsh, the top-ranked player in the PGA of Canada, and the winner of the 2013 PGA Assistants’ Championship, carded four birdies and an eagle during his round.
“I really like this golf course and it sets up nicely off the tee for me,” Walsh said about the Thomas McBroom-designed track. “If you’re confident off the tee you can take advantage of the lines and that’s pretty much what I did all day.”
Fortin, just 23 but with the past experience of playing in the 2012 Canadian Men’s Amateur at Camelot, used that history to his advantage, combining it with a recent rise in his game, to catch a piece of the early lead.
“When your game is good and the putter is going, you’re going to score well on whatever golf course you’re playing,” Fortin said. “It’s always a good feeling to be in contention, especially in a national championship.”
Luca Greco of Club de Golf Le Mirage sits just one shot back of Walsh and Fortin after an opening round 68. Meadowbrook Golf Club’s Kyler Murphy is fourth at 3 under thanks in part to a hole-in-one on Camelot’s seventh hole.
“I step up on No. 7 and hole out for a one, so I start thinking things are looking up,” Murphy admitted. “We saw it bounce a couple times, hit about a foot up the flag and drop in the hole. I asked the guys in my group, ‘did that just go in?’ And sure enough it did.”
Oliver Tubb of Seymour Creek Golf Centre (but originally from Striling, Ontario) matched Murphy’s ace on No. 7. The finalist at this year’s PGA Championship of Canada at Cabot Links lurks three shots back in a tie for fifth along with Brad Kerfoot (Maple Downs Golf Club), Eric Locke (Wolf Creek Golf Resort), Christophe Belair (La Versant) and Marc-Etienne Bussieres (Club de Golf LongChamp).
The field will be cut to the top-60 (and ties) after Thursday’s second round with the final round taking place Friday at Camelot.