September 5, 2013 – Sydney, NS – Clarkston, Washington’s Joel Dahmen shot a 10-under par 62 at The Lakes Golf Club on Thursday to take a two shot lead in the first round of the Cape Breton Celtic Classic presented by PC Financial. Dahmen led by two over Cincinnati, Ohio’s Wes Homan before play was suspended due to darkness.
Dahmen, a 25-year old University of Washington graduate, said the soft, damp conditions from some wet weather earlier in the week allowed him to take aim at every flag and employ an aggressive style of play, carding 11 birdies on the day, including birdies on his final three holes.
“It’s so soft out here you can hit a lot of drivers, and then you can hit it close to the hole,” said Dahmen, whose 62 tied the best round on PGA TOUR Canada this season. “A 4-iron is sticking the same as a wedge, so you can really be aggressive out there.”
Along with the aggressive strategy, Dahmen said a putting tip from close friend and fellow PGA TOUR Canada player Will Strickler led to a solid performance on the greens in round one.
“I made a couple of long putts that I normally don’t make,” said Dahmen, who rolled in putts over 50-feet for birdie on the 17th hole and over 30-feet for birdie on the ninth. “I’ve been hitting it really well for four or five weeks now and putting horrible. I actually got a little putting lesson from Will Strickler yesterday. I tried to play off that a little bit and the putts started going in.”
With two top-10 finishes on the year, Dahmen currently sits 21st on the PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit, a fact he said he is keenly aware of with two events to go.
“I think I was eighth after four events this year and now all of a sudden I’m in 21st, because I’ve been finishing 20th every week,” said Dahmen. “20th isn’t going to get it done, so you’ve definitely got to finish in the top-10, top 5 or get a win. I’m very aware. There are seven rounds left, and they matter a lot more than anything I’ve ever played before.”
Two shots behind Dahmen was PGA TOUR Canada veteran Wes Homan, who shot a bogey-free 64 to sit 8-under par, followed by Times Colonist Island Savings Open winner Stephen Gangluff with a 6-under par 66.
The first round was suspended due to darkness at 6:53 PM and will resume at 7:10 AM, with second round tee times also beginning at 7:10 AM.
Homan looking to add to sneaky solid season
With a solid-but-unspectacular 2013 season so far, Wes Homan said he was hoping to break through with a solid week at the Cape Breton Celtic Classic presented by PC Financial. He got that goal started nicely on Thursday, firing a bogey-free 64 to stand alone in second at the end of day one.
“I have probably played good in every tournament for three to three-and-a-half days of the four, and I’ve had a bunch of top-20s and top-15s,” said Homan, whose consistent year includes four top-25 finishes and just one missed cut in six starts. “I feel like I’ve had one even par round every tournament and that’s kind of kept me from a real good finish. I feel like I’ve been there all week and just need to convert some more chances.”
Homan’s round of 64 tied a career-best on PGA TOUR Canada, matching a 64 in the third round of the 2011 Times Colonist Island Savings Open, where he went on to finish second.
Brisk weather stunts afternoon scores
While sunny skies greeted the players Thursday morning, it was a different story by the time the afternoon groups were on the course, as cloudy, wet weather moved in, forcing the suspension of play due to darkness at 6:53 PM.
“I thought it was perfect when I got here and then within 15 minutes it got dark,” said Micah Burke, who tied the best round of the afternoon wave with a 5-under par 67. “It was tricky out there, there were a lot of spots in the trees where the wind would do something different, and it just got cold and dark out of nowhere. It was tough to read putts.”
The first round will resume in position at 7:10 AM, with the second round tee times unaffected and beginning at 7:10 AM as scheduled.
- – Johnny Bloomfield had the eighth hole-in-one of the season with an ace from 194 yards on the 15th hole with a 6-iron
- – Thursday’s first round saw the use of preferred lies, the first time the rule has been implemented on PGA TOUR Canada this season
- – Thursday’s first round was the fifth time a round has been suspended on TOUR this season and the first time with a suspension due to darkness
- – Dahmen’s 62 was tied for the best round on TOUR this season, matching his own 62 at the Dakota Dunes Open presented by SaskTel, another 62 at the same event by Christopher DeForest and a 62 by Brandon Harkins at The Great Waterway Classic
- – Order of Merit leader Riley Wheeldon was 4-under par through 17 holes when play was suspended due to darkness