Laurens, South Carolina’s Caleb Sturgeon reached 12-under par through nearly two rounds at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf and Country Club when play was suspended due to darkness at the inaugural GolfBC Championship, the third event of the 2016 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.
The 23-year old University of South Carolina graduate was 5-under par through 17 holes of his second round when play was called at 9:07 p.m. due to darkness. Second round play was initially suspended for 2 hours and 40 minutes due to dangerous weather in the area, and will resume at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
“I bogeyed the first hole, and it actually kind of helped me to stop, hit some more balls, hit some more putts and get some good momentum going getting back out there,” said Sturgeon, who was 1-over on his round when play was suspended initially.
With a two stroke lead over Syracuse, New York’s Dan McCarthy, Vancouver, B.C.’s Ryan Williams and Orlando, Florida’s Ted Smith and the reachable par-5 ninth hole left to play in his second round, Sturgeon said he was confident heading into the weekend’s play.
“I’m looking forward to it as always. Any time you’re playing well, you’re always looking forward to the weekend,” said Sturgeon.
A shot further behind the group tied for second were Liverpool, England’s Mark Geddes and Chico, California’s Kurt Kitayama in a tie for fifth at 9-under.
Partial Second Round Leaderboard (Bold denotes Canadian):
Caleb Sturgeon – (-12 thru 17 holes)
Dan McCarthy – 66-66 (-10)
Ryan Williams – 66-66 (-10)
Ted Smith – 68-64 (-10)
KEY NUMBERS TO KNOW:
29: Players left to complete round two Saturday morning.
62: Kurt Kitayama’s second round score, setting the new course record at Gallagher’s Canyon.
Caleb Sturgeon is making his third career start on the Mackenzie Tour. He ranks 11th on the Order of Merit after starting the season with finishes of 6th and T22.
Sturgeon earned exempt status through the first four events of the season with a T11 finish at the USA East No. 1 Q-School.
Sturgeon played college golf at the University of South Carolina with fellow Mackenzie Tour members Matt NeSmith, Will Starke and Sean Kelly as teammates.
Order of Merit leader Dan McCarthy opened with rounds of 66-66, his ninth and 10th straight rounds under par to open the season. McCarthy has shot at least 2-under in every round so far this season and opened the year with finishes of WIN-T6.
“Today was a long trying day with the weather delay. First off, everyone involved with the grounds crew did an unbelievable job. For the rain that came down, the greens are immaculate. My game is in a good place, and I have a real good caddie this week (past Mackenzie Tour member Kevin Stinson) and the putter feels real good in my hands. All in all, I’m very happy with the position I’ve put myself in.” – Ryan Williams on a long day at Gallagher’s Canyon.
“It was a little tough, especially starting on 10, a 515-yard par-4. It’s the same for everyone, though, and we were all grinding it out. Coming down the last few holes, I was just saying ‘put it on the green and give yourself a chance.’ I was just fortunate to birdie the last.” – Jonathan Khan on playing through the rain.
“It was my objective all week to stay patient, so I didn’t really let the weather affect me. I just stuck with it and knew it was going to be a battle out there. I sent a few text messages to some people back home and said ‘this is gonna be a grinding day.’” – Seath Lauer on playing through the rain.
“I was definitely nervous going into the first day and I think it showed, but I couldn’t have asked for a better two days. Everything seems small after this, especially playing the back tees with the guys. There are so many great female athletes out there, and it was such an honour to be the one who was chosen to play.” – Jacqueline Bendrick on being the first female to play in a Mackenzie Tour event (PGA TOUR era).