INVERNESS, N.S. – Cabot Links came billed as a true links golf experience. And Monday for the first round of the PGA Championship of Canada sponsored by Mr. Lube and presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, it delivered with breezy, firm and fast conditions.
A trio of players—Quebec’s Jérôme Blais, 2014 Canada Cup winner Oliver Tubb and champion of the 2013 PGA Championship of Canada Bryn Parry—lead the way at even par.
“This place is unreal and golf is so much fun here,” Tubb said. “It’s awesome to be able to play in conditions like today with things getting firm and fast and it’s only going to get better out here as the week goes on.”
Cabot Links, which debuted at No. 2 on SCOREGolf’s 2014 Top 100 Ranking and is currently No. 42 on Golf Digest’s World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, is located on the western shores of Cape Breton Island in Inverness, N.S.
Nestled between the rural community of Inverness and the vast Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Rod Whitman-designed course is Canada’s first authentic links layout. The natural and rugged Nova Scotia landscape—dramatic seaside, undulating terrain, sandy soil—dictates the layout of the course with every hole affording an ocean view and five holes playing adjacent to the beach.
Since re-launching in 2011, the PGA Championship of Canada has been contested as a match play event 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, this year’s championship sees the top-16 players from the 36-hole stroke play portion of the event filling out the four match play brackets—Stan Leonard, George Knudson, Al Balding and Moe Norman—with the eventual champion winning four match play rounds.
“I like the format change for this year’s championship because it gives the player who travels from across the country more golf and another chance to see this amazing venue,” Blais said.
Scott Allred, Scott Borsa, Kent Fukushima, Brad Kerfoot, two-time PGA Club Professional of Canada winner Danny King and the No. 1-ranked player form the PGA of Canada Players Ranking presented by RBC Bill Walsh sit one back at one-over par 71.
Of the 64 players in the field, nearly half are within five shots of the top of the leaderboard.
For the complete leaderboard and second round tee times, CLICK HERE.
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 this year’s RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.
Currently, Walsh sits No. 1 on the player rankings with 316 points, ahead of 2014 PGA Championship of Canada winner Dave Levesque of Montreal and and Parry
Past champions of the PGA Championship of Canada includes Moe Norman, George Knudson, Al Balding, Bob Panasik, Wilf Homenuik, Stan Leonard, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer.
Players who don’t make the 36-hole cut will compete in the GolfNorth Skins Game Wednesday at the historic Cape Breton Highlands Links in Ingonish, N.S.
Attendance to the PGA Championship of Canada is free and spectators are encouraged to attend during tournament play.
The first PGA Championship of Canada was contested in 1912 at Mississaugua Golf & Country Club.