A 5-under 67 was the low score of the day on Tuesday during the first round of PGA TOUR Canada’s California Qualifying Tournament. The is the second of three TOUR qualifying tournaments for 2015. Albin Choi of Toronto was the medalist last week in Florida.
UCLA Senior Matt Pinizzotto of Salinas, California (playing as amateur) is leading by a stroke in this week’s 72-hole tournament being played at La Purisima Golf Course in Lompoc, California.
“I made a lot of good putts today. The greens can be bumpy in the afternoon, so you just try to hit your line, and they might not fall, but luckily for me most of them went in,” said Pinizzotto, who played in the day’s final group off the 10th tee. “I gave myself a lot of good looks and I’m happy with how I played.”
The 22-year old was the last player among the 132 entrants to gain a spot for the week. After making the drive up and getting in a quick practice round in the evening, Pinizzotto was ready to begin his attempt to earn status for 2015.
“I was at practice Monday morning. I was going to head up here in the afternoon and see if there was a spot in the field, and then I got the call. It’s pretty last minute, but all week I was planning on getting in,” said Pinizzotto.
Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill is the leading Canadian among the 14 who started in California. He is tied for fourth after round one after turning in a 70.
Scoring is tighter in California for round one compared to last week in Florida. Just 18 players were under par in Lompoc; 61 player bettered par in round one in Florida.
Need To Know
The medalist this week will earn exempt status on PGA TOUR Canada for 2015. Finishers 2-18 will be exempt through the first six events and subject to the re-shuffle, with the rest of the top 40 (plus ties) earning conditional status. The cutoff for the top 18 through the first round was at 1-under, with the cutoff for the top 40 at 1-over.