ISN – (May 29, 2014 – Vancouver, BC) – North Vancouver’s Eugene Wong got his PGA TOUR
Canada season started off on the right foot on Thursday, firing a bogey-free 6-under
66 at Point Grey Golf and Country Club to share the first round lead at the PC
Financial Open with Clarkston, Washington’s Joel Dahmen and Mexico’s Mario Clemens.
Wong, playing in front of friends and family on a familiar golf course, carded six
birdies and converted a tricky sand save on the 18th hole for par to preserve a
flawless opening round, one that he said he had been anxiously awaiting after
resting in the weeks leading up to the start of PGA TOUR Canada’s second season.
“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” said Wong, a two-time winner on PGA TOUR
Canada, who grew up playing junior tournaments at Point Grey. “I knew I was ready
even though I didn’t play many tournaments coming in. I planned on not playing too
much since there’s a long season ahead of me.”
Dahmen, entering his fifth season on PGA TOUR Canada with momentum after claiming
two Gateway Tour wins in the offseason, said he couldn’t wait to get his season
started and search for his first win on TOUR.
“It feels great to get the season off to a good start,” said Dahmen, who made five
birdies, an eagle and one bogey on Thursday. “You’re always apprehensive or a little
anxious to get it going, and I had a great winter. I was anxious to get this
started. I had a month off after my last tournament, so I wasn’t really sure how I
was going to play.”
The 26-year old University of Washington alum had a handful of chances to win on PGA
TOUR Canada in 2014, and said he hopes his experiences in the winter will help him
if he has a chance to claim his first victory later this season.
“I struggled on Sunday last year. I had three chances to win and didn’t get it done,
and so to play through the winter and to win a few times and learn how to win was
huge,” said Dahmen.
While Wong and Dahmen come into the season looking to improve on past success,
Mexico’s Mario Clemens looked like a veteran in his first PGA TOUR Canada start. The
British Columbia Q-School grad, who won the 2013 Mexican Amateur Championship and
finished T-4 at the NEC Series – PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s Abierto de Chile, said he
was thrilled to be in Canada as he looks to play his way onto the Web.com Tour in
“This is the fastest way to the PGA TOUR, I think. So far, Canada’s just been
amazing. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The views
here are just spectacular and the people are so nice, very welcoming.”
Clapp claims rainy weather as advantage on day one
Making his debut as a PGA TOUR Canada member, Chilliwack, British Columbia’s Brad
Clapp made himself look like a veteran, firing a 5-under 67 to share fourth place
with Sacramento, California’s John Catlin and Seattle, Washington’s Blake Snyder.
The bulk of his round came in Monday’s morning rain, an element Clapp said actually
may have helped Vancouver-based players like himself.
“I’ve said it to a few of the Vancouver guys, if it rains a little bit and it’s wet
out here, it’s a huge advantage for us,” said Clapp. “The way the ball flies and how
it reacts on the greens, and just staying dry. There are a lot of guys that play
fair-weather golf all year round and we don’t have that advantage, so it was nice to
get some rain and even nicer to play well in it.”
Clapp, who is making his debut on TOUR after a successful run on the PGA of BC club
circuit, including a win at the 2012 PGA of BC Championship, said he was able to
calm his nerves enough in front of friends and family at Point Grey.
“I just tried to treat it like any other tournament and it felt like any other
tournament, so it was good. I stayed really patient and I’m happy with today for
Williams looking to join Huskie alums on PGA TOUR Canada and beyond
If Moscow, Idaho’s Chris Williams’ resume looks familiar, it’s because it’s nearly
identical to that of Nick Taylor, who played his way from PGA TOUR Canada onto the
Web.com Tour last season. Both claimed former spot atop the World Amateur Golf
Rankings and a Ben Hogan Award while playing at the University of Washington, where
several players have come from on their way to PGA TOUR Canada.
“There’s a bunch of us out here, and obviously Nick went through here last year on
the way to the Web.com Tour. It’s a nice play to play,” said Williams, who fired a
4-under 68 in round one to sit tied for seventh. Other former Huskies in the field
include Dahmen, Brock Mackenzie, Joe Panzeri and Darren Wallace.
“Nowadays it’s tough to find a place to play, so it’s perfect to have a
12-tournament schedule and plan out your travel for the summer,” said Williams. “And
obviously, at the end of the year there are those five spots on the Web.com Tour, so
it’s really competitive.”