*Image credit: Chuck Russell/PGA TOUR
Vancouver, British Columbia (Mackenzie Tour) – Jacksonville Beach, Florida’s T.J. Vogel carded a 2-under 70 on Friday at Point Grey Golf and Country Club to take the second round lead at the Freedom 55 Financial Open, the first event of the 2017 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.
The 26-year old followed up a 9-under 63 on day one with four birdies and two bogeys on Friday to take a one stroke lead over Harare, Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent through 36 holes at the season’s opening event.
“It feels good,” said Vogel, a second-year Mackenzie Tour member. “Any time you have a lead, it’s nice.”
The former University of Southern California and University of Florida standout said he was a little disappointed not to match his outstanding score from the first round, but accepted his position knowing he’s the man to catch heading into the weekend at Point Grey.
“When you shoot 9-under in the first round, your expectations are a little higher. I would never really be upset to shoot 2-under normally, and to be in the position I’m in through two rounds is a nice place to be,” said Vogel.
Vincent, a 25-year old Virginia Tech alum, managed to offset four bogeys on Friday with five birdies and was one shot behind Vogel at 10-under, while Lee McCoy and Jordan Niebrugge were a shot further behind at 9-under.
BACKGROUND ON THE LEADER: As an amateur, Vogel was one of the country’s top players, having claimed the 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links to earn a spot in the field at The Masters the following year. He was an NCAA All-America selection at both USC and Florida before turning pro, and has since made 57 combined starts on the PGA TOUR, Web.com Tour, Mackenzie Tour and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
Now in his second full season in Canada, the 26-year old says he’s playing some of his best golf and is making strides in the mental performance side of the game that often represents the next hurdle for up-and-coming players.
“You just have to be patient with yourself, and that’s just my main focus. I’m trying to stay in my process and my routine on every shot and not get ahead of myself,” said Vogel, who admitted to struggling after strong starts at times on Tour last season.
In 2016, Vogel recorded two top-10s and finished the year 26th on the Order of Merit.
THEY SAID IT:
“It was a lot more work than yesterday. That was an easy 6-under with just one bogey, whereas today I didn’t drive it particularly well, but it’s nice to know that if I’m not my sharpest I can still come out and post a good score.” – Lee McCoy on a second round 3-under 69 on Friday.
“I’m right in the mix, and that’s always exciting. Hopefully I can put two rounds together and walk away smiling.” – Scott Vincent on his position through 36 holes.
“Any time you get a chance and you’re in contention, that’s what we all play for. To start the first event off that way is great. I worked really hard in the winter to put myself in this position, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.” – Ryan Williams on being on contention through 36 holes at his hometown event.
“I definitely played my way back into the tournament. I was just coming out here looking for a good round. I played well. I was able to capitalize and make a few birdies, which was nice.” – Jordan Niebrugge on a 9-under 63 in round three.
MORE PLAYER NOTES:
Scott Vincent is making his 14th career start on the Mackenzie Tour. In 2016, he finished the season 20th on the Order of Merit after recording three top-10 finishes
A graduate of Virginia Tech, Vincent was named a 1st team NCAA All-American in 2015 and finished his four-year collegiate career with the program’s all-time best scoring average at 71.65.
University of Georgia alum and former NCAA All-American Lee McCoy is making his first career start on the Mackenzie Tour. In 2016, he thrilled hometown fans in Palm Harbor, Florida by finishing solo fourth as an amateur at the Valspar Championship on the PGA TOUR.
23-year old Jordan Niebrugge is making his first start on the Mackenzie Tour this week. The former NCAA All-American at Oklahoma State owns an impressive amateur resume, including wins at the Western Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links.
In 2015, Niebrugge finished T6 and earned the Silver Medal at the Open Championship as the low amateur.
Niebrugge recorded seven birdies and an eagle on Friday, holing out from 90 yards with a 56-degree wedge on the 14th hole.
- Weather: 18 degrees Celsius, cloudy skies giving way to afternoon sunshine, winds 1 km/h.
- Preferred lies were in effect for Round 2.
- Vancouver native and Point Grey Golf & Country Club ambassador Ryan Williams shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to sit tied for fifth at 7-under total.
- Richmond, B.C.’s Chris Crisologo made the cut at 2-under 142. The Simon Fraser University student was recently named an NCAA Div. II All-American.
- The 36-hole cut came at 1-under 143, with 73 players at T59 or better making the cut.
- Click here for scores.