This area of Canada had a rough winter. I can’t imagine why since it’s so far northeast on the map. 😄 The course last year played very firm and fast which is what kept the winning total at (-11). The course is very hilly side to side and up to down so it presents a very nice challenge. This year is almost a new course because it started out very soft and receptive, so you can basically throw out last years note so far. The greens are in rough shape and most have so much slope in them it’s hard to put pins in similar spots. But none the less it’s a golf course with tee boxes, fairways and cup holes.
We had an early tee time at 7:50 PM. It was foggy and overcast with a bit of chill out of the southwest. The 10th hole is a big down the hill hole that is basically 3 wood and wedge to a back to front sloping green. We had 106H out of the first cut. Ryan asked hard lob wedge or soft gap wedge. I figured smooth one in there because there is no point in hitting something hard right now. He agreed and hit it to about 2 feet for a quick birdie.
Ryan two putted a pretty slick putt for par to follow. We laid up on out 3rd hole and wedged it to about 7-8 feet. The ball used its last revolution to sneak over the edge for a 2nd birdie. It was definitely a nice start to an opening round. Our 4th hole is a short 3 iron wedge hole. We had a similar yardage to the first hole at 107H. It was a very accessible hole location and Ryan hit a nice smooth gap wedge past the hole left and spun it back right in the cup for an eagle 2! We went a little crazy with excitement as it was his second hole out in as many weeks. That put us (-4) through 4 which is a dream start.
Our 5th hole was a par 3 playing 164H downhill with the wind. We choose 8 to middle of the green. He pulled it a bit leaving himself about 30-35 feet. This green is big back to front sloping. Ryan gave it a bit too much pace and rolled it by some 7 feet. He missed the comeback putt to put the first bogie on the card.
The 16th par 3 played 200H into a 10-15 mph wind. Ryan leaked 3 iron right which was ok. When we got up there he had an ackward chip shot over a knob feeding down towards the hole. The lie was decent and he crept it up to about 5-6 feet and made the putt. It was a very nice up and down save.
The 18th hole might be one of the toughest holes on this tour. The hole slopes severely right to left on the fairway and the green. It also usually plays into a wind from the right. With it being soft the hole plays very long for Ryan. We had 224H back into a breeze. We hit 2 iron that got hung up in the breeze and ended up in the front right bunker. It left the dreaded 35 yard sand shot that he left about 10-15 short. This green has so much slope that you feel you can’t play enough break. He missed it low to make the turn in (-2) which is still very solid on the harder of the 9s.
We made the turn and had 192H on the 2nd hole (Our 11th). The only issue was a big clump of mud on the top left of the golf ball. This means the ball could virtually go anywhere but most like will go right. It came off knuckly right and just missed the green. It’s a horrible break because the name of the game is to hit the fairway, but what can ya do. We misjudged the firmness of the green on the chip shot and missed the 10 footer for par.
I told Ryan don’t let the bad breaks beat ya. A good drive left us 113H on the next. We played the shot about 5 yards less because the wind was helping. He hit a nice smooth gap wedge to about two feet again. So the 3 times he hit gap wedge today he made two birdies and an eagle. I’d say that’s pretty good!
Ryan pulled his tee shot on the 6th hole just into the rough. I paced off his yardage of 55 yards. He literally had about 3-4 paces to fly it on the green to keep it below the hole. Coming out of the rough makes it a small guess but he hit it absolutely perfect to about 3-4 feet for another nice birdie. We had some ok looks the final 3 holes but settled for all pars. All things considered Ryan continued doing what he has been doing which is playing well.
We made some nice decisions today and executed well all round. Everyone will make bogies out here because of how severe this course can play. We anticipate it getting firmer like last year which will make this course much harder. Ryan shot (-3) 68 which puts him 4 back. We play in the mid afternoon tomorrow.