Matt Marshall leads through 36 holes at Times Colonist Island Savings Open

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PGA Tour Canada

June 7, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – With firm, fast and windy conditions and a tight leaderboard, the Times Colonist Island Savings Open is setting up for an exciting weekend battle.

Marana, Arizona’s Matt Marshall extended his first round lead to two shots, shooting an even-par 70 at Uplands Golf Club to lead by two over Meridian, Idaho’s Joe Panzeri, Nampa, Idaho’s Tyler Aldridge and England’s David Skinns through 36 holes at the first event on the inaugural PGA TOUR Canada schedule.

Marshall’s 70 was good enough to double his lead on a day when low scores were rare, with just 22 players breaking par Friday and only 31 players under par through two rounds. 21 players are within five shots of Marshall’s lead, setting up a tight leaderboard heading into the weekend.

“One-over to two-over is not a bad score right now,” said Marshall. “The greens are firm and you really have to think about where you want to putt it from.”

Playing the Times Colonist Island Savings Open for the fourth time, Marshall said experience is a useful asset

“You can’t just hit driver on every hole,” said Marshall, noting that the tough conditions demanded a careful, intelligent approach to the golf course. “It shows you how tough this golf course is. It’s taken me four years to really understand it.”

David Skinns, one of three players two strokes behind Marshall’s lead, said a successful weekend would require smart decisions and few mistakes

“It was a day where attacking wasn’t really an option,” said Skinns, one of three players two strokes behind Marshall’s lead. “It’s going to demand some really good golf to win and you’re not going to be able to get away with a whole lot,” said Skinns, who is looking to return to the Tour, where he played in 2012.

BC BOYS IN THE HUNT: A handful of British Columbians have put themselves squarely in the hunt to win the inaugural PGA TOUR Canada event, a fact two BC natives said was no coincidence.

“BC’s got a lot of great players. I think it has a lot to do with the grass up here, playing poa all the time,” said Surrey’s Devin Carrey, who shot his second consecutive 68 to sit four-under par through two rounds, tied for fifth. “It’s definitely an advantage to play it on a regular basis.”

North Vancouver’s Eugene Wong, who shot 67 to sit 3-under par in a tie for eighth, echoed Carrey’s sentiment, saying the greens made putting surfaces at Uplands feel like home for many BC players.

“I grew up on Poa Annua grass and Bluegrass, and it’s very similar,” said Wong, who has Uplands professional and former PGA TOUR Canada member Parker Lilly caddying for him. “I just don’t have to make as many adjustments.”

Carrey led all British Columbians at four-under, and was joined in the top-20 by Wong, Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor (-3, T-7), Comox’s Riley Wheeldon (-3, T-7), Nanaimo’s Darren Griff (-2, T-15) and Mission’s Kevin Stinson (-2, T-15).

RENFREW LOOKING FOR A BIG MOVE: Victoria’s own Cory Renfrew, who nearly captured the Times Colonist Island Savings Open last year before finishing T-2, made the cut on the number at one-over par, keeping his hopes of thrilling the home fans alive.

“Saturday’s kind of green light for everyone,” said Renfrew after his round, hoping his scores of 71-70 would be enough to make it to the weekend. “I’d be stoked if [the cut moved to +1] and I could get out here and kind of make as birdies as I could.”

With 56 players making the cut at one-over, Renfrew’s chance to make up some ground on moving day will come Saturday.

Other notables making the cut on the number included 2012 Order of Merit runner up Michael Gligic and 2006 Times Colonist Island Savings Open Mike Grob.

Times Colonist Island Savings Open – Second Round Leaderboard

1. Matt Marshall (Marana, Arizona) – 63-70 (-7)

T-2. Joe Panzeri (Meridian, Idaho) – 64-71- (-5)

T-2. Tyler Aldridge (Nampa, Idaho) – 67-68- (-5)

T-2. David Skinns (Lincoln, United Kingdom) – 65-70 (-5)

T-5. Fergal Rafferty (Carrickmore, Ireland) – 66-70 (-4)

T-5. Devin Carrey (Surrey, BC) – 68-68 (-4)

Eight players tied at -3


– Weather: Sunny, 18 degrees Celsius, winds 30 km/h gusting to 50 km/h

– The cut came at one-over par, 56 making it to the weekend. The top 55 players and ties make the cut each week.

– The second round of the Times Colonist Island Savings Open will begin at 8:00 AM on Saturday, with players going off the first tee in twosomes.

– Former Golf Canada National Amateur Team member Albin Choi made the cut in his professional debut, shooting rounds of 68-72 to sit tied for 32nd at even par.

– Defending champion Andrew Roque missed the cut, shooting rounds of 72-72.

– Victoria native and amateur Kevin Carrigan, playing on a sponsor’s exemption, made the cut on the number, shooting rounds of 71-70.

– 2011 and 2012 Canadian Amateur champion Mackenzie Hughes and Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Wil Collins will both headed to next week’s US Open. Both players qualified at Sectional Qualifying on Monday but missed the cut in Victoria.

– Doug McGuigan (66) was the only player to go bogey-free on Friday, jumping 85 spots into a tie for 22nd.