June 20,2014(ISN) – (Fort McMurray, AB) – PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit leader Joel Dahmen took
control of the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON on Friday, firing a
6-under 66 at Fort McMurray Golf Club to take the 36-hole lead by three shots
over Vancouver, British Columbia’s Ryan Williams.
Dahmen, the PC Financial Open champion three weeks ago in Vancouver, rebounded from
a bogey at the first hole with seven birdies, finishing at 15-under through 36
holes, three ahead of Williams.
“I’ve made a few putts. When you get in a groove, you just try to keep playing golf
and not think about it too much,” said the Clarkston, Washington native of his
red-hot play over the first two rounds. “I started to play more aggressively and the
putts fell on the back nine for me.”
With a win in his back pocket already this year and the chance to take a strong grip
on the top spot on PGA TOUR Canada’s Order of Merit, Dahmen said he would be trying
to go full speed into the weekend to secure another victory. The 26-year-old is
looking to build on experience from last year at the Cape Breton Celtic Classic
presented by PC Financial, where he held the 36-hole lead by three before faltering
on the weekend to a 7th place finish.
“There’s still a lot of golf left. I did the same thing last year [in Cape Breton]
and had a three-shot lead going into the weekend and it didn’t pan out, so there’s
still a lot left. I still have to keep the pedal down and keep going,” said Dahmen.
2014 has been a breakout season for the former University of Washington Husky, who
claimed two wins on the All-American Gateway Tour this winter and now finds himself
in the driver’s seat on PGA TOUR Canada, a position he admitted he hasn’t always
felt comfortable in but now expects to see each time he tees it up. Dahmen credited
a new mental approach crafted with former University of Washington assistant coach
Jon Reehoorn, now the head coach at Oregon State, centered around playing
aggressively regardless of his position on the leaderboard.
“We were talking about staying aggressive, and keeping the same mentality all the
way through the round,” said Dahmen. “I really fought myself hard today, and I’m
going to be excited when I text him and tell him that I did it. I fought myself
early and I turned it around and played really well.”
With a great chance at another win this weekend, Dahmen said the confidence he
gained from his win at the PC Financial Open has helped him play well this week.
“For me to actually win in Vancouver was huge. I know that I can do it, and I feel
like I belong. I feel like I’m supposed to be at the top,” said Dahmen.
One shot behind Williams in third was Florida’s Jeff Corr, who shot 65 to finish at
11-under. Two shots behind Corr were Montreal, Quebec’s Beon-Yeong Lee, California’s
Sean Shahi and Monday qualifier Kevin Spooner of West Vancouver, British Columbia at
WILLIAMS’ NEW STRATEGY VAULTS HIM INTO THE HUNT
After missing the cut in his first three starts at the Syncrude Boreal Open
presented by AECON dating back to 2012, Vancouver, British Columbia’s Ryan
Williams tried a different strategy this week in Fort McMurray, playing just nine
holes of a practice round and taking the driver out of his bag on the tree-lined
Fort McMurray Golf and Country Club.
“I just felt that I was only going to hit [driver] once or twice out there, and I
came in with pretty much no expectations. Sometimes that works better than coming
out here and trying too hard,” said Williams.
The 33-year old finds himself in the hunt for the first time since last year’s Cape
Breton Celtic Classic presented by PC Financial, when he finished second to Order of
Merit winner Mackenzie Hughes, and said he hoped the experience would help him on
“This is what you play for,” said Williams. “You want to be up near the lead heading
into the weekend.”
DEFENDING CHAMP BOUNCES BACK WITH 64
When Riley Wheeldon won last year’s Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON, he
did so despite a quadruple bogey 9 on the scorecard in a second round 75. So when
Wheeldon struggled to a 73 in round one this year, he knew not to think he was
out of the tournament just yet.
“Having the 9 on the card and the 75 last year kind of made the 73 yesterday a
little bit easier knowing that it’s still possible, and that I just needed to play
well the next three days,” said Wheeldon.
He bounced back in a big way on Friday, carding a bogey-free 64 to jump 67 spots
into a tie for 13th.
“I’m still going to need to play really well because the leaders aren’t backing up,”
said Wheeldon. “It’s going to be a birdie fest as long as the weather stays like