Andrew Roque Takes early Lead at TC Open

Canadian Tour golf

Victoria, BC (ISN)
 – Andrew Roque of Monterey Park, CA posted the round of the day Thursday at the Times Colonist Island Savings Open with a blistering 6-under par 64.

Roque is looking to become a member of a very select group of players who were Q-School medalists and went on to win in the same year. That group includes Canadian Tour alumnus and current PGA TOUR player Spencer Levin. Levin won the Times Colonist Island Savings Open in 2007.

Roque’s bogey free round included six birdies with three of them coming on the 15, 16 and 17.

“My plan for the week was to be very aggressive but not stupid,” said Roque, who won the California Q-School in May by two shots. “I really pushed for one more (birdie) when I saw I was in a tie. I feel that I need to get as far ahead as I can,” added the 23-year old.

Roque’s round is equally impressive considering he played in cold, wet and windy conditions at the Oak Bay area golf course. Roque along with the rest of the afternoon draw endured 30 km/h winds and 12 degrees Celsius.

“It was breezy and blowing,” lamented Roque. “The key to my round though today was keeping the ball in play and not dealing with all the trees around this course,” added Roque, who is playing in his first official Canadian Tour event.

Should Roque win this week he will join Steve Stricker as an immediate Q-School graduate who their first event. Stricker won the Times Colinist Island Savings Open in 1990

Roque’s second round tee time is 7:40 AM PST off the 10th tee.

Lucas Lee, originally from Brazil and now living in Torrance, CA, teed off in the morning and posted one eagle, five birdies and one bogey for a 65.

Gordy Scutt, a former Canadian Tour member (2002-2006), leads the local contingent of players after posting a 3-under 67 in the first round and sits in a tie for fourth. Canadian Tour rookie Cory Renfrew, who calls nearby Cordova Bay Golf Club home, is one shot back of Scutt and sits in a tie for 12th.

Other notable scores from Victoria included 3-under par 67’s from 2011 PGA TOUR member Will Strickler, Big Break PEI winner Derek Gillespie and former world number one amateur Nick Taylor. Gillespie is making his first start in Victoria in two years after missing most of last season recovering from a serious car accident. The Oshawa, Ont. native is playing on a medical extension this season and got off to a good start before posting bogeys on two of his last three holes. Taylor, who played his way on to the Canadian Tour last year, is officially a rookie member in 2012 and will be a favourite to take home Canadian Rookie of the Year honours presented by The Great Waterway.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.