It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, the Leaderboard is Roaring
It’s a tight top end of the PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada leaderboard after a rain-plagued first round at Beverly Golf and Country Club in Copetown, Ont.
Perennial contender Jean Laforce leads the way after an opening-round 4-under-par 66. The 59-year-old’s card featured five birdies—four of which came on Beverly’s inward nine—and a lone bogey at the par-4 second hole.
“This is my type of golf course—it’s not very long, it’s tight in some spots but the key to scoring well is on the greens,” Laforce admitted. “The greens here are very tough—maybe some of the toughest I’ve ever played on before—and I hit 17 of them today with just one three-putt so that always helps.”
No stranger to playing well at Beverly, Laforce lost in a three-person playoff in 2014 for the PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada. He says he remembers that near victory very well.
“Oh yes, I remember that playoff with Remi Bouchard and Ken Tarling,” Laforce said of the playoff won by Bouchard. “You never know, maybe I’ll find myself in another playoff this year and I’ll be ready to take the next step.”
Laforce’s good friend and two-time PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada winner Serge Thivierge and B.C.’s Phil Jonas—also a two-time PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada winner—lurk just one-shot off the lead after both posting opening-rounds of 3-under-par 67.
Five-time PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada winner Jim Rutledge is part of the five-person group at 2-under par. He’s joined by past PGA Championship of Canada and three-time PGA Head Professional Championship winner Danny King; two-time PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada winner Marc Girouard; Martin Plante; and David Wettlaufer.
Rutledge looks to win his sixth PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada this week. Rutledge’s past PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada victories came last year at Burlington Golf and Country; 2015 at Credit Valley Golf & Country Club; 2013 at Lookout Point Country Club; 2012 at Emerald Hills Golf Club; and 2010 at Rattlesnake Point Golf Club. He’s also a former winner on the Web.com Tour, has six Mackenzie-PGA TOUR Canada titles and is a former PGA Championship of Canada winner.
Chasing his sixth win, he now only trails golf legend Moe Norman for most PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada titles. Norman has eight titles, with seven coming in consecutive years.
Wednesday’s first round at Beverly Golf and Country Club was hampered by two storm delays, totalling nearly three-hours of delay.
Mike Burrows, Michel Dagenais, Keir Smith, Scott Allred, and Bob Beauchemin round out the top-10 at 1-under.
For the full leaderboard and second round tee times, CLICK HERE.
Thivierge leads the Super-Senior division by two shots over Beauchemin, while Neil Smith and Bob Panasik lead the Diamond division.
The PGA Seniors' Championship of Canada was first played in 1938 as a division of the Canadian PGA Championship. In 1973, the championship became an independent event and has stayed that way since.
Among the Canadian golf legends to win the PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada are Stan Leonard, Moe Norman—who won a record seven straight years from 1979-1985—Bob Panasik, Al Balding—who wowed the golf world by winning at age 76 in 2000—Jim Rutledge, Ray Stewart, Dave Barr, Bob Panasik, Murray Tucker, Bill Kozak, Gar Hamilton and Remi Bouchard who won at Beverly in 2014.
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