*Image credit: Chuck Russell/PGA TOUR
(Victoria, British Columbia (Mackenzie Tour) – Lake Mary, Florida’s Jhared Hack shot a 9-under 61 on Thursday at Uplands Golf Club, taking the first-round lead at the Bayview Place Cardtronics Open presented by Times Colonist, the second event of the 2017 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.
The 27-year old birdied four of his first five holes and finished with nine birdies and no bogeys to lead by two over Vancouver, B.C.’s Ryan Williams and Tacoma, Washington’s Derek Barron after day one.
Hack’s 61 matches the course record at Uplands, set by Andrew Roque (2012) and Roger Sloan (2011), both during the Bayview Place Cardtronics Open presented by Times Colonist.
“It was really good golfing,” said Hack, who credited his putter for his low score. “I putted really nicely. When you shoot a round like this, you have to roll it well and I made all my five- to 15-foot putts today. These greens are so good, it’s going to go in if you hit a good putt.”
Hack’s remarkable score undermines the challenging weather faced by the field on Thursday, with rains falling throughout the morning and winds gusting to over 60 km/h in the afternoon.
“We knew the weather was going to be kind of wet, kind of cold,” said Hack, crediting a patient approach for his success. “Just trying to take one shot at a time and eliminate mistakes and really stay patient. When you shoot a round like this, it just happens, you don’t go out thinking “I’m going to go out and shoot 61 today.”
Williams birdied the 18th hole to shoot 63, his lowest career round on the Mackenzie Tour, and was tied with Barron, who qualified for the U.S. Open on Monday and carded seven birdies and zero bogeys on Thursday.
BACKGROUND ON THE LEADER: Hack has experienced success at almost every level he’s played at, from big amateur tournaments to prolific success on the mini tours and a taste of life on the Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
In 2007, he won the prestigious Western Amateur, defeating Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson in Match Play on the way to the title. He turned pro after one semester at the University of Central Florida and owns 54 wins on various mini tours.
Hack spent the last two years on the Web.com Tour, recording three top-25 finishes in 35 starts. He finished 132nd and 109th on the Web.com Tour Money List in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and also owns extensive experience on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, with six top-10s in 25 career starts.
MORE PLAYER NOTES:
Ryan Williams is making his 95th career start on the Mackenzie Tour this week. He owns 14 career top-10s including a win at the 2014 Freedom 55 Financial Championship and has finished 2nd or better at least once in each of the last three seasons.
Williams’ 63 was his lowest career round on the Mackenzie Tour. His best finish in Victoria is a T15 in 2015.
32-year old Derek Barron is making his second career Mackenzie Tour start after earning exempt status for the first four events of the season at the British Columbia Q-School earlier this year. He finished T18 at the season-opening Freedom 55 Financial Open last week.
Barron qualified for the U.S. Open on Monday, winning his Sectional Qualifying site at Tacoma Country Club.
Barron decided to pursue becoming a touring professional after winning several events as a member of the Pacific Northwest PGA Section, including the 2012 Oregon Open and 2015 Northwest Open.
- Weather: 12 degrees Celsius, rain in the morning giving way to partly cloudy skies in the afternoon, winds calm in the morning and 40 km/h gusting to 60 km/h in the afternoon.
- Former Golf Canada National Amateur Team member Jared du Toit opened with a 3-under 67 in his professional debut.
- Victoria native Cory Renfrew opened with a 1-under 71 to lead all locals at the event.
- Freedom 55 Financial Open winner Lee McCoy finished with a 1-under 71 and was T23.
- Click here for scores.