Victoria, BC – Yakima, Washington’s Brock Mackenzie got his quest for a second Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist title off to a good start on Thursday, firing a 7-under 63 at Uplands Golf Club to lead by one over Manhattan Beach, California’s Jake Sarnoff.
The 2010 champion went bogey free on Thursday, with the 63 representing his best score at Uplands in his sixth appearance. The 32-year old said his familiarity with the golf course was key to his performance in getting off to a good start.
“There aren’t too many courses other than maybe my home course that I’m this comfortable on,” said Mackenzie, a former All-American at the University of Washington. “For some reason everything just kind of suits my eye. I know where to miss it and where to hit it, and it’s just kind of up to executing. I rolled it a couple of putts today.”
Few players have as strong a track record as Mackenzie at Uplands – in addition to his win, he also posted a pair of top five finishes in 2009 and 2011 and was in the hunt on Sunday last year before fading with a Sunday 77.
“I’ve had some nice success at Uplands and I’ve always enjoyed coming back here. The people are great,” said Mackenzie, who said his familiarity with the event made it one of his favourites on PGA Tour Canada. “I see the same walking scorers each year and say ‘Hey, do you want to come walk with me this week?’ So it’s pretty cool to see.”
One shot back of Mackenzie with a 64 was Sarnoff, playing in just his second PGA Tour Canada event. The 24-year old, like Mackenzie, was also bogey-free on Thursday, and said he managed to navigate Uplands successfully despite a few wayward shots.
“I just kind of missed in the right spots,” said Sarnoff. “I was in the rough a lot but I had a lot of open shots and I putted really well. It’s always good to have no bogeys on the scorecard.”