(Victoria, B.C.) – Toronto, Ontario’s Albin Choi, Richmond Hill, Ontario’s Taylor Pendrith and Seal Beach, California’s Dan Buchner shot matching rounds of 6-under 64 on Thursday at Uplands Golf Club to share the lead after one round at the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada’s Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist.
Pendrith, a 24-year old Mackenzie Tour rookie and co-runner-up in last week’s PC Financial Open playoff, birdied his final hole to join Choi’s early clubhouse lead, while Buchner navigated his way around Uplands without a bogey to match the lead at 6-under late in the afternoon.
“Obviously there are a lot of positives last week. Just being in the playoff was awesome. I had a really solid last round and I’m playing really well right now,” said Pendrith, who is now 14-under for his last 36 regulation holes after closing with an 8-under 64 last Sunday in Vancouver. “It’s nice to have another 64 today. I’m pleased with the round. It could have been a couple lower, but I’m happy.”
Buchner, a fifth-year Mackenzie Tour member, credited his solid play to familiarity with Uplands and a well-executed game plan on Thursday.
“I’m not the longest driver out here, but I might be the straightest, so this is a good course for me,” said the 41-year old Buchner of the tree-lined Uplands layout. “The one drive I hooked into the trees I pitched out and got up and down from 150 yards, so for the most part I stayed out of trouble.”
Earlier, Choi, who recorded his first career top-10 on the Mackenzie Tour last week, held the lead for most of the morning before finishing with a bogey on the ninth, his final hole of the day, to settle for a 6-under 64.
“It always stings to end with a bogey, but that’s why it’s a four day tournament and there are still three days left. I’m just looking forward to what’s coming ahead,” said the 23-year old. Choi was born in Surrey, B.C. and made his pro debut at Uplands in 2013. “I feel great being in British Columbia and on the west coast being from here. I had my pro debut here a couple of years ago and I remember this course very well. It was nice to play well today.”
One shot back of the trio at 6-under was Eugene Wong, making his 2015 Mackenzie Tour season debut, along with J.J. Spaun and Ryan Brehm.
NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW
4: Bogey-free rounds: Dan Buchner (64), Adam Cornelson (66), Vince Covello (68), Curtis Yonke (68).
64: Taylor Pendrith’s score in each of his last two rounds, going back to an 8-under 64 in the final round of last week’s PC Financial Open.
70: Players scoring under 70 on Thursday.
“Playing out here again, I’ve thought to myself, I can see how playing on the PGA TOUR a few years is a huge advantage when you know where to go, where to stay, where to eat and how to do everything. We’ve had a great time being back here this week.” – Mt. Pleasant, Michigan’s Ryan Brehm on returning to Victoria as a second year Mackenzie Tour member.
“I’m jet lagged. I slept a little bit, did my laundry, took the late ferry over and slept as much as I could. I’ll probably sleep again a lot today. I tried to stay as well rested and hydrated as possible. The last few weeks on PGA TOUR China have helped me confidence-wise that I can compete with players from around the world.” – Eugene Wong on his hectic schedule after traveling from Shanghai to Vancouver earlier this week.
- Weather: 20 degrees Celsius. Sunny. Winds 17 km/h.
- PC Financial Open champion Drew Weaver opened with a 3-under 67. The last player to win consecutive starts on the Mackenzie Tour is Eugene Wong in 2012 at Freedom 55 Financial Championship and The Great Waterway Classic.
- Eugene Wong currently sits fifth on the PGA TOUR China Order of Merit with three top-10s in four starts.
- In 36 career starts on the Mackenzie Tour, Dan Buchner has four top-10 and 13 top-25 finishes.
- Victoria native Cory Renfew opened with a 3-under 67.
- The last Canadian to win the Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist is Craig Taylor in 2005.
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