August 23, 2013, Morrisburg, ON (ISN) – Sao Paolo, Brazil’s Lucas Lee shot a 6-under par 66 at Upper Canada Golf Course to take the solo lead at The Great Waterway Classic on Friday. The 26-year old held a one stroke lead over Champions Gate, Florida’s Ryan Blaum and Laguna Niguel, California’s Sean Shahi when play was suspended due to darkness at 7:51 PM.
Lee, five times a runner-up on PGA TOUR Canada but still looking for his first win, said he was excited about heading into the weekend in contention again.
Second Round Leaderboard – The Great Waterway Classic
1. Lucas Lee – 66 (-13)
T-2. Ryan Blaum – 66 (-12)
T-2. Sean Shahi – 65 (-12)
4. Joe Panzeri – 66 (-11)
T-5. Tony Finau – 68 (-9)
T-5. Jose Toledo – 68 (-9)
“I take a lot of positives from today,” said Lee, who was bogey-free for the tournament until a three-putt at the ninth, his 18th of the second round. “I definitely didn’t play the best coming in and I feel like I left a couple out there, so I’m excited for the weekend.”
Lee’s latest runner-up on Tour came at this year’s Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON, when he finished a shot behind winner Riley Wheeldon. The UCLA grad said the rare appearance of his father in the gallery this weekend has been an added bonus to the week.
“He’s never really followed me in a tournament. He’s probably having more fun than I am,” said Lee. “He’s always hiding in trees and stuff so it doesn’t really bother me at all.”
One shot behind Lee were Blaum and Shahi, followed by ATB Financial Classic presented by TELUS champion Joe Panzeri at 11-under par, with Salt Lake City, Utah’s Tony Finau and Guatemala City, Guatemala’s Jose Toledo, who both shot 68, two shots further back at 9-under par.
Following thunderstorms that hampered play Thursday, round one resumed at 7:30 AM Friday, with the second round beginning at 12 PM. Play was called due to darkness at 7:51 PM, with round two set to resume at 7:30 AM Saturday morning. Round three tee times will run approximately from 12 PM to 2 PM.
Shahi credits fresh outlook for solid start
After an inconsistent start to the season (three made cuts and just one top-25), Laguna Niguel, California’s Sean Shahi said a fresh look helped him get off to a solid start at The Great Waterway Classic. The 27-year old shot a 7-under par 65 in Friday’s second round to sit 12-under par overall, and credited a lighter attitude for the success.
“I’m having more fun out there now. I’m not worrying anymore; it’s just a game,” said Shahi. “I was stressing out about results in the past and now it’s just ‘go out there, whack a ball and whatever happens happens.'”
Shahi’s best result on PGA TOUR Canada is a tie for fifth at The Western Championship in 2011, but said results are the farthest thing from his mind this week.
“If you play well, you play well, and if you don’t, there’s always another day.”
Lecuyer uses long day to relax
Following a 66 in round one that gave him a share of the overnight lead, Grimshaw, Alberta’s Steven Lecuyer admitted being near the lead would be a new experience for him. But faced with a long delay until his second round tee time – he didn’t tee off until 5:10 PM – Lecuyer said he used the day to relax and take his mind off the game.
“It was tough waiting around all day, but I hung out with a buddy of mine and just stayed relaxed,” said Lecuyer, who was 2-under par through 11 holes and looking forward to the 7:30 AM resumption of play. “I missed a few putts today so I’m looking forward to putting on fresh grass in the morning.”
– Weather: Sunny, 22 degrees Celsius, wind 5 km/h
– Andrew Roque carded a 7-under 65 in round two to make his first cut of the season. The 2012 Times Colonist Island Savings Open champion has struggled with a wrist injury this season, with Friday’s 65 his first round in the 60s on PGA TOUR Canada this year
– Monday Qualifier Jesse Speirs shot a 9-under par 63 in round two, the new course record at Upper Canada Golf Course. Speirs is looking to become the first Monday Qualifier to win on PGA TOUR Canada since Tim Hoge at The Players Cup in 2011
– Ryan Blaum is looking to become the first player to win on PGA TOUR Canada and the NEC Series – PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in the same season
– Joe Panzeri is looking to keep a streak alive with a win, as at least one player has won back-to-back events on PGA TOUR Canada every year since 2006
– The current cut was projected at 2-under par, with 63 players inside the cutline when play was suspended