Daniel Im of La Mirada, CA and Alex Coe of La Quinta, CA share the lead at 9-under-par after the second round of the ATB Financial Classic. Playing on opposite sides of the draw neither player had an advantage as the wind didn’t let up all day at Bearspaw Country Club located on the Northwest outskirts of Calgary.
On the heels of two eagles and four birdies, Daniel Im matched the low round of the day at 5-under-par 66. Im’s solid play came on a day where the wind blew from sunup to sundown with gusts topping 40 km/h on the 6800-yard layout. Coupled with fast greens and the altitude adjustment Im’s 66 may well rank as one of the rounds of the year on the Canadian Tour.
“Overall it was a good round. I was able to battle the wind and come out with a pretty good score,” said the 26-year-old UCLA graduate. “The wind only really got me on 10 where I thought it was swirling so I decided to go for it and I came up short but was able to get up and down to save bogey,” recounted Im on his decision to go for the drivable par 4 10th hole.
Im is looking to secure his first Canadian Tour win since 2008 where he won twice including his first Canadian Tour start at the Riviera Maya Open. Since 2008 Im has struggled posting just two top 10’s in 23 starts on North America’s top developmental tour.
“I’ve certainly been struggling since 2008 but this week I’ve actually reverted back to what I was doing then,” said Im. “My driver was my best club back then and I’ve really started to work on getting it back to the level it was in ’08,” added Im whose best finish in 2010 was a T3 showing at the Jane Rogers Championship.
Alex Coe is becoming a familiar name at the top of the leaderboard particularly in the early rounds of Canadian Tour events so far this season. To date, Coe has been at the top of the lead or nearing the lead in the last three Canadian Tour stops.
“I’ve been playing well in the early stages for sure but I need to work on playing better heading into the weekends,” added Coe who admits the mental side of the game might have cost him in Fort McMurray. “I need to work on keeping the momentum going and not protecting anything” admitted Coe, who will be paired with his good friend Im in the final group on Saturday.
While the wind may hinder some players in the field, Coe actually welcomes the breezy conditions. Growing up in Guam, Coe learned how to play in the windy conditions and for the longest time has not used a tee when hitting his driver.
“I think it’s more important to be in the fairway than to be long and hitting hit off the deck ensures that for me,” said Coe, who like Im is a UCLA graduate. “Hitting it off the deck keeps it down and I know where it’s going to go,” added Coe who averages about 290 yards off the tee.
Hugo Leon of Chile sits one shot back of the leaders at 8-under-par. Leon, a former big break contestant posted his second straight round in the 60’s at 3-under-par 68. Leon heads into the third round paired with defending champion Dustin Risdon of Calgary.
Risdon is looking to add a third ATB Financial Classic trophy to his collection and is three shots back of the leaders. Ending his round with a bogey on the 18th hole Risdon left Bearspaw in obvious disappointment.
“I made some terrible putts today,” said Risdon following his round. “It could have been a really low round for me if some of them dropped,” recounted the 2010 Nationwide Tour member.
Risdon is in a three-way tie for 4th place with Manotick, Ontario’s Brad Fritsch. Fritsch has turned in scores of 66 and 70 this week.
Izzy Beisegel carded a solid round of 1-under-par to finish her debut on the Canadian Tour at 6-over-par. Beisiegel became the first female in history to gain playing privileges on a men’s professional tour earlier this year at Canadian Tour qualifying school.
“I was very happy with the way I played today. I stuck to my routine and my processes and I was able to post a good number,” said the always cheerful Quebec native. “The week was a lot of fun and I’ve met so many great people, I can’t wait to do all over again next week,” added Beisiegel 32, who is travelling with her husband who also doubles as her caddy.
Beisiegel’s round consisted of 4 birdies to go along with three bogeys on the 6800 yard Calgary layout to finish the tournament with a two-day total of 148. Beisiegel now heads to Saskatoon, the Canadian Tour’s next stop, in hopes of stringing two solid rounds together in an effort to play on the weekend.
Ottawa-born Scott Hawley missed the 36-hole cut by a stroke while Tour Rookie Brad Revell of Kingston’s scores of 77 and 73 leave him on the bench for the weekend as well.
Second-Round Mini Leaderboard
Daniel Im, La Mirada, CA 67-66 (-9)
Alex Coe, La Quinta, CA 66-67 (-9)
Hugo Leon, Chile 66-68 (-8)
Dustin Risdon, Strathmore, AB 67-69 (-6)
Benjamin Alvarado, Chile 66-70 (-6)
Brad Fritsch, Ottawa, 66-70 ON (-6)
Jose Rodrigeuz, Mexico 68-69 (-5)
Ryan Yip, Calgary, AB 66-71 (-5)
Sean Shahi, Los Angeles, CA 68-69 (-5)
Six players tied at 4-under-par