Sept 11, 2014 (ISN ) – (London, ON) – Portland, Oregon’s Matt Marshall and
Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Erik Barnes carded matching 4-under 68s on Thursday at
Sunningdale Golf and Country Club to share the first-round lead at the TOUR
Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial.
With cold, windy weather moving in overnight and staying for the duration of the
day, the pair were among just 23 players to shoot under par at Sunningdale. The
leading score at 68 represents the highest first-round lead of the season on PGA
TOUR Canada, with Marshall indicating the conditions forced the field to adjust and
play with caution.
“You knew going into the round it was going to be difficult. I just tried to really
stay patient,” said Marshall. “I had a real conservative game plan. Just a lot of
fairways and greens, and on some holes you’re just playing for par.”
One shot behind the early leaders was a group of six players at 3-under 69,
including British Columbians Ryan Williams, Adam Cornelson and Eugene Wong, as well
as California’s Sean Shahi, Florida’s Jay Myers and Burlington, Ontario’s Michael
MARSHALL FREES UP GAME WITH ’15 STATUS SECURED
Entering last week’s Cape Breton Celtic Classic presented by PC Financial, Matt
Marshall knew his season – and a place to play in 2015 – was on the line.
The 29-year old began the week 59th on the Order of Merit, but finished tied for
29th to stay inside the top 60 at No. 55, earning a spot in the field in London
along with exempt status for the 2015 season.
“Last week was tough on me. Very stressful, and this week feels like I can just go
out and play some golf,” said Marshall. “Last week it felt like my season for next
year was determined by every shot. It’s tough to keep that going for four straight
With four rounds guaranteed this week, Marshall said he was able to get out of his
own way, leading to his 4-under 68 to share the first round lead.
“This week has a total different feel because there is no cut, and you can just kind
of let it go,” said Marshall. “I felt no pressure and knew I could just go kind of
play some golf.”
GLIGIC CONTINUES STRONG STRETCH RUN
With three top-6 finishes in each of his last three starts, Michael Gligic has
been heating up at the right time late this season. At No. 9 on the Order of
Merit, the 24-year old is the highest Canadian on the Order of Merit and can
still play his way into The Five, needing at least a solo fourth place finish
“I feel like I have pretty good control of where it’s going,” said Gligic after a
3-under 69 on Thursday that left him tied for third. “I played well. The conditions
were tough. I was hitting a lot of club into the greens and just kind of managing
With a solo fourth place finish at The Great Waterway Classic, a playoff loss at The
Wildfire Invitational presented by PC Financial and a tie for sixth at last week’s
Cape Breton Celtic Classic presented by PC Financial, Gligic said he’s getting
valuable experience and becoming more comfortable in and around the lead.
“Last week I mentioned how I was really comfortable, even going into the final
round,” said Gligic. “A couple of weeks prior I felt a little uncomfortable in the
final group in Kingston just because it was kind of unfamiliar, having not been
there in a while. I’ve definitely settled in and feel more comfortable under the
WET WEATHER HAMPERS START OF PLAY, BUT DOESN’T DETER BC NATIVES ON DAY ONE
A little cold and rain was no problem on Thursday for Vancouver-area natives Adam
Cornelson and Ryan Williams on Thursday, with the pair matching each other at
3-under 69 to share third place.
“This is Vancouver in November, really,” said Williams, brushing off the challenge
of some West coast winter-type weather.
“This is pretty good for the Canadian boys with this weather, but I’m happy with the
round, and happy it’s done,” added Cornelson.
The wet weather wasn’t limited to Thursday’s play, either. With heavy overnight
rains pushing back the start of play two hours on Thursday, the greens crew at
Sunningdale – and a few other area clubs who pitched in to help – worked hard to get
the course in shape, with the efforts drawing the compliments of the players.
“I think they did a great job getting play ready for today,” said Williams. “You
could tell there were a lot of puddles around the course, but I don’t think anyone
was complaining about the conditions.”
“There was so much rain last night, the grounds crew did a phenomenal job for us to
even play. They rolled good and smooth, and my hat’s off to the grounds crew,” the
26-year old added.