Learmonth Chasing National Title

The 2012 Titleist/FootJoy Ottawa PGA Zone Champion is trying to add a national title to his resume.

Chris Learmonth shot one under par, 71, on Monday at the PGA Village’s Wannamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Florida in the first round of the Titleist & FootJoy Club Professional Championship of Canada.

The Deep River Golf Club General Manager and Head Professional was tie for the lead after his opening 33 but faltered to a 38 on the back side of the Tom Fazio designed course.

Learmonth shares 8th place with 36 holes to play.  He  leads among players from the PGA of Ottawa Zone.

Former Ottawa Zone Champion Roger Beale, now working in Barbados, shot 70.

Graham Gunn of White Sands Golf Course and Practice Centre was even par on Monday/

Elbow Spring Golf Club’s Scott Allred leads the way after a 4-under par 68 and says with the conditions being the way they were on Monday, he’s quite happy with his play thru the first round.

“I was very pleased with today because the wind was up and the course is very difficult. The greens seemed to be faster than they have been in the past, so you had to be pretty careful at keeping your approach shots below the hole,” Allred says. “At my age and being a senior, I’m just happy to be able to compete with these young guys and feed off the good golf that they’re playing.”

Jean Laforce of St. Jean de Matha Club de Golf, who made seven birdies on Monday, and Magna Golf Club’s Danny King, who is a two time champion, sit one shot back after a pair of 69s.

“It was chilly today and I was expecting like 75 degrees, but that wasn’t the case,” Laforce says. “Tomorrow morning I’m playing at 7:40 and it’s supposed to be worse so I’ll bring my mitts and my toque.”

After his round, King echoed Laforce’s sentiments about the weather.

“Yeah, it was a tough day out there,” King says. “So you’ve got to really control your golf ball and be patient.”

In at 2 under were defending champion Roger Beale (Royal Westmoreland), Bradlee Ryall (The Academy at BraeBen), 2012 PGA Championship of Canada winner Eric Laporte (Montcalm Club de Golf) and 2010 champion Brian Hutton (Southbrook Golf & Country Club). Marc Girouard (Diamont Club de Golf) and Chris Learmonth (Deep River Golf Club) are T8 at 1 under.

George Lacy (Shawneeki Golf & Country Club), Scott Dickson (The Royal Montreal Golf Club), Adam Chamberlain (Gowan Brae Golf Club), Dean North (Carman Golf Club), Dean Brown (The Royal Regina Golf Club), Graham Gunn (White Sands Golf & Practice Centre) and Brett Burgeson (Country Hills Golf Club) round out the top 10 at even par.

Team Alberta leads the Inter-Zone Team Championship, which is comprised of four players per zone (and three scores per team counting), at 2 under par. Team Quebec sits one shot back at 1 under, while the squad from the Ottawa Valley is third at one over

The $85,000 purse Titleist & FootJoy PGA Club Professional Championship of Canada takes continues Tuesday and Wednesday at the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course. The 94-player field will be cut to the low 70-players (and ties) after completion of Tuesday’s second round.

For second tee times and the full leaderboard, CLICK HERE.

Flagstick Digest delivers the most current and informative golf content directly to your inbox. Whether looking for the latest from the Tours, In-depth Interviews, Product Analysis or just about anything golf...WE DELIVER!