Acton, ONT. – After years of playing professional golf, Vancouver’s Bryn Parry is well educated about the strengths and weaknesses of his own game.
On Tuesday at Credit Valley Golf & Country Club in Mississauga, Ont., the 46-year-old PGA of Canada professional from Point Grey Golf & Country Club used all that knowledge to shoot a 5-under-par opening round.
“Over the years I’ve learned what I can and can not do,” Parry said. “I don’t tend to try things that I don’t think I can pull off—so I’m hitting what I consider to be the easiest shot for me at the safest target.”
Apparently, he thought he could pull off a fair bit, though. His scorecard backed it up.
Parry opened his PGA Championship of Canada presented by TaylorMade and adidas Golf with a birdie on the first hole at Credit Valley. He then made a bogey at the sixth before reeling off six birdies in a row on holes Nos. 8-13.
“It’s funny because I hadn’t made more than three in a row all year,” Parry admitted. “But I made some putts out there and before you know, I had made six in a row.”
“When you’re playing shots that are correct for where the holes are, or the style of the green, or the length of the hole, then the swings you’re going to make are the easiest moves to the biggest targets,” he said. “And I like to play that way, so I feel most secure when I play that way.”
Parry is one of seven past PGA Championship of Canada winners in the field this week at Credit Valley. Additionally, this impressive field features 21 PGA of Canada national championship winners.
Ranked No. 80 on SCOREGolf’s Top 100 Courses in Canada for 2016, Credit Valley last played host the PGA Championship of Canada 25-years ago in 1993, which was won by 12-time PGA TOUR winner Steve Stricker. The club has also recently hosted two PGA Women’s Championships (2010 and 2016) and a PGA Seniors’ Championship in 2015.
2015 PGA Championship of Canada winner Danny King sits alone in second place after an opening-round 67.
Like Parry, King preached patience as the key to success at Credit Valley.
“I was really patient out there today,” King said. “The game plan out here is to get it in the fairway off the tee and control your ball into these greens.”
Brad Kerfoot, 2015 PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada winner, and Oliver Tubb are tied for third at 2-under-par. 1984 PGA Championship of Canada and five-time PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada winner Jim Rutledge, along with fellow B.C.-native John Shin round out the top five at 1-under.
For the full leaderboard and second-round tee times, click here.
The 69-player field will be whittled down to the top-16 players following tomorrow’s second round. The final 16 will fill out the match play brackets with the eventual champion winning four match play rounds.
Currently, Jean Laforce, 2014 PGA Championship of Canada winner Dave Levesque, Billy Walsh, Tim Alarie, Gar Hamilton, Brennan Rumancik, 2012 PGA Championship of Canada winner Eric Laporte and Greg Pool would be involved in an eight-for-five sudden-death playoff to determine the match play brackets if the cut was today.
Re-launched in 2011, the PGA Championship of Canada was contested strictly as a match play event through 2014 with players from the four brackets—Stan Leonard, George Knudson, Al Balding and Moe Norman—looking to advance through the six rounds to capture the historic P.D. Ross trophy. However, the 2015 championship at Cabot Links saw a format change, with 69 top-ranked players from the PGA of Canada Player Rankings presented by RBC playing two rounds of stroke play. The top-16 players from the 36-hole stroke play portion of the event filled out the four match-play brackets with the eventual champion winning four match play rounds.
This year’s championship at Credit Valley follows the same format.
In addition to the above mentioned, past champions of the PGA Championship of Canada include Moe Norman, George Knudson, Marc-Etienne Bussieres, Dave Al Balding, Bob Panasik, Tim Clark, Lanny Wadkins, Jim Rutledge, Wilf Homenuik, Stan Leonard, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer.
The player who sits atop the PGA of Canada Player Rankings presented by RBC at the conclusion of the PGA Championship of Canada earns an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.