-Ottawa’s Jeremiah Shields in Top Ten-
Beon-Yeong Lee of Montreal, QC, Lucas Leibel of Toronto, ON and Tyler Weworski of Carlsbad, CA shot matching four-under 68s Tuesday to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the Canadian Tour Fall Qualifiying School in Burlington, ON.
The trio managed to negotiate the tough conditions at Crosswinds Golf & Country Club, where gusts of wind and fast, firm greens kept all but seven players from breaking par on the par-72, 7,240-yard layout.
Leibel, who shot a course record 63 at Smuggler’s Glen Golf Course at The Great Waterway Classic two weeks ago, birdied his final two holes to tie atop the leaderboard.
“I’ve been playing well the last few weeks. I’m just trying to stay out of my own way and play well when I can,” said Leibel. “It was pretty windy out there, so I just tried to stay patient and go after birdie putts when I had a chance.”
Weworski got off to a hot start, making eagle on the second hole and adding five birdies to sit at the top of the leaderboard with Lee. The 22-year old says he’s taken an aggressive gameplan this week and will continue to attack flagsticks.
“My goal is to try and win this week,” said Weworski. “I played really solid today and I want to keep that going the next three days.”
The former Texas Tech Red Raider said playing the par-5s well allowed him to bounce back from bogeys at the tough Crosswinds layout. In addition to his eagle at the second, Weworski made birdie on the par-5 11th and 15th holes on the back nine to steady his round.
“I bogeyed 8 & 9 but stayed positive and took advantage of some of the easier holes,” said Weworski.
“I played really well from the start today. I hit a really good tee shot on the first hole and I felt comfortable after that,” said Lee, who made five birdies and one bogey for the round.
Lee, the defending two-time champion of the Cornwall Open who moved to Montreal in 2006 after growing up in South Korea, said he’s hoping to use the Canadian Tour as a stepping stone for his career.
“I know there are a lot of good players out here and this is the first step to go to the next stage,” said Lee, who added that the solid opening rounds takes some pressure off him for the rest of the week.
“I know the next three rounds are going to be a bit easier for me. I’m going to try and play the same game as today and hope it’s enough,”
A handful of former Canadian Tour members dotted the leaderboard, including 2012 rookies Jesse Speirs and Billy Houle, who managed solid one-under 71s, and
Peter Campbell, another 2012 rookie, had perhaps the most interesting round of the day, shooting nines of 45-29 for a 74 that put him in a tie for 16th.
Leading the way for the four-man contingent from Eastern Ontario was Jeremiah Shields. Shields, a thirty year-old from Ottawa, shot even par, 72, and sits in a tie for 7th place.
Another Ottawa golfer (who now lives in Oakville), Andrew Jensen, shot 76 and is tied for 29th place after round one.
Kingstonian Brad Boyle turned in a 77 for share of 34th while Ryan Ellis of Cumberland is well back after struggling to an 85.
The top 15 players at the end of the week will receive exempt status on the Canadian Tour for 2013, while the next 15 and ties will receive non-exempt status. Past graduates of the Fall Qualifying School include Mike Weir and Michael Gligic.
BURLINGTON , Ontario – Scores Tuesday from the first round of the Fall Qualifying School, at the 7,240, par-72 Crosswinds Golf & Country Club (a-denotes amateur)
|Beon Yeong Lee||68||—–||68|
|JJ Regan (a)||75||—–||75|
|Josh Bauer (a)||75||—–||75|
|Yong Woo Kim||75||—–||75|
|Tae Woo Kim||77||—–||77|
|Derek East (a)||78||—–||78|
|Adam Shaw (a)||79||—–||79|
|June Kim (a)||79||—–||79|
|Adrian Kibsey (a)||80||—–||80|
|Mike Currie (a)||84||—–||84|
|Fady Rivero (a)||87||—–||87|