Papineau fires an opening round 63 to lead by three, Sharp two back at the 2023 Pan American Games

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Team Canada (Alena Sharp, Selena Constabile, Etienne Papieau (pictured) and Myles Creighton) get in a practice session ahead of the golf tournament during the Panam Games in Santiago, Chile on November 1, 2023. (Photo: Dave Holland/CSI Calgary)

Étienne Papineau said prior to the start of the 2023 Pan American (Pan Am) Games that it was his goal to bring home a medal, he couldn’t have started his pursuit any better. Papineau fired an opening round 9-under 63 and takes a three-shot lead into Friday at the 2023 Pan Am Games at the Price of Wales Country Club in Santiago, Chile.

The 27-year-old from St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que. recorded seven birdies on Thursday including a run of three straight on holes 12 through 14. He closed his round with an eagle on the par-5 18th hole to finish at 9-under.

“I really enjoyed my day out there. I stuck to my game plan and stayed really patient. I did a great job of capitalizing on my opportunities. There is still a lot of golf to be played, but it’s definitely nice to start the tournament the way I did,” said Papineau.

Papineau leads a trio of golfers by three shots including, Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay, Sebastian Muñoz of Colombia and Dylan Menante of the United States who all shot opening rounds of 6-under 66.

Myles Creighton of Digby, N.S. finished the day with a 1-over 73 to sit in a tie for 18th place. Creighton opened with a birdie on the first hole but bogeyed the second before recording 10 straight pars from holes 3 through 12.

Men’s Top 5 Standings following the opening round of the 2023 Pan Am Games

1Étienne PapineauCanada63-9
T2Fabrizio ZanottiParaguay66-6
T2Sebastian MuñozColombia66-6
T2Dylan MenanteUnited States66-6
5Joaquín NiemannChile67-5

Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ont. also enjoyed a great start to the Pan Am Games recording a 5-under 67 on Thursday and is two shots back of the leader, Sofia Garcia of Paraguay who opened with a 7-under 65. Maria Uribe of Colombia is in third at 3-under.

Sharp began her round on the back nine and closed with birdies on holes 17 and 18. She followed up with six consecutive pars on the front nine but finished strong with three straight birdies on holes 7 through 9 to tally seven on the day to finish at 5-under.

Selena Costabile of Thornhill, Ont. finished her round with a 5-over 77 and sits tied for 19th.

Women’s Top 5 Standings following the opening round of the 2023 Pan Am Games

1Sofia GarciaParaguay65-7
2Alena SharpCanada67-5
3Maria UribeColombia69-3
T4Valery PlataColombia70-2
T4Alexandra SwayneVirgin Islands70-2

Golf joined the Pan American Games program at Toronto 2015. At Lima 2019, Team Canada consisting of, Austin Connelly, Mary Parsons, Joey Savoie and Brigitte Thibeault won the bronze medal, in the mixed team event, its first Pan Am Games medal in golf.

Santiago 2023 features individual events only in golf with 32 men and 32 women competing over 72-holes of stroke play. Play was suspended for a couple of hours on Thursday afternoon due to weather. Friday’s second round will begin at 8:00 a.m. local time, 9:00 a.m. ET/6:00 a.m. PT.