Fulton, Mississippi’s Chad Ramey shot a 6-under 66 at Whitewater Golf Club before first round play was suspended due to inclement weather at the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel, the fifth event of the 2017 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.
The 24-year old carded seven birdies and one bogey to reach 6-under, one ahead of Rancho Cucamonga’s Rico Coey, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida’s Tyler McCumber and Atherton, California’s Jonathan Garrick.
“My putter got hot. I made about three putts in a row that were pretty good,” said Ramey, who finished his day by hitting a bunker shot to within two feet at the ninth hole – his last of the day – to save par and post the lead at 66.
Rain fell for most of the morning, making scoring a challenge before play was halted at 1:34 p.m. due to unplayable conditions. Round one play was called for the day at 5 p.m. and will resume with players in position at 8 a.m. on Friday morning.
“The main thing is staying dry, and staying patient,” said Ramey on his approach in dealing with the rain. “Overall, 6-under in those conditions? I’d take it every day.”
Hoey, who finished tied for sixth last week at the Players Cup, managed six birdies and one bogey to share second with McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA TOUR winner Mark McCumber, and Garrick, who still had two holes remaining in his first round.
“I feel really happy. I knew that the rain was going to come, so I took the opportunities early in the round and made some putts. I’m glad I shot 5-under,” said Hoey.
This may not be Southern California weather, but that's no problem for @RicoHoey.
He cards a 5-under 67 in the rain to lead early on. pic.twitter.com/9eHZzqJdUh
— Mackenzie Tour (@PGATOURCanada) July 13, 2017
The four-time NCAA All-American recently graduated from USC and was consistently ranked among the top 20 players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking during his Senior season.
Ramey is in his first season on the Mackenzie Tour, having earned exempt status for the first eight events of the year at the USA East #2 Q-School this spring.
In four starts so far, he’s made two cuts and ranks 90th on the Order of Merit.
The 24-year old played college golf at Mississippi State and came to the Mackenzie Tour partly in thanks to encouragement from 2013 Players Cup winner Carlos Sainz, Jr., a fellow Mississippi State alum.
“I talked to [Carlos Sainz, Jr.] a good bit. He played on the Mackenzie Tour last year too, and plans on playing again this year. He said it’s a great Tour and he’s loved it, and kind of persuaded me into doing it,” said Ramey after earning his card at Q-School.
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