SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda – Two Canadians and a Welshman are tied for the lead at the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship after the opening-round at Turtle Hill Golf Club in Bermuda.
Quebec’s Dave Levesque, the No. 3-ranked player from the PGA of Canada Player Rankings, PGA Tour Canada player Andrew Jensen of Ottawa and two-time European Tour winner Mark Mouland of Wales put together impressive rounds of 3-under par 51 and lead heading into Sunday’s final round.
“It’s a sprint out there rather than like a four-round tournament where it’s more of a marathon,” Levesque said of the championship’s exciting 36-hole format. “You definitely want to start quick and keep going as fast as you can.”
Mouland jump-started his round with three birdies through the first five holes before cooling off and making pars the rest of the way. The 52-year-old Wales native said he played well, but Turtle Hill’s tricky greens got the better of him.
“I actually didn’t hole any putts over four feet which is kind of surprising,” he admitted after his round. “The greens are really tricky out here and are quite difficult to read. Then you factor in the winds and it makes the entire day tough to really score.”
Players were forced to deal with a steady swirling breeze off the Atlantic for most of the day Saturday. Jensen said the swirling winds cause indecision when choosing the proper club off the tee.
“You really have to trust your number out there,” Jensen said. “You’re really tossing between two clubs especially if you’re the first to hit.”
Winds are expected to pick up for Sunday’s final round, potentially making a tight leaderboard even tighter.
Twenty-five players are within five shots of the lead, including Thomas Curtis of England and local Bermudian Camiko Smith who are one back at two under. Terrence Daniels, also of Bermuda, is at one under.
Last year’s champion Jordan Mitchell, former Ryder Cup player Ronan Rafferty, Bermuda’s Michael Sims, this year’s Bermuda Open champion Justin Regier, PGA of America professional Chris Moody, PGA of Canada member Kent Fukushima, and amateurs Mark Phillips and Will Haddrell are all at even par, three shots off the pace.
In addition to the professionals in the championship, the 152-player field is rounded out by an impressive list of amateur golfers from Bermuda, the United States, Canada and Europe, all of whom are vying for titles in the men’s, women’s and senior amateur divisions.
Haddrell and Phillips, both of Bermuda, are tied for the lead in the men’s amateur division at even par. American Pat Ayres and Bermudian Katrin Burnie are tied atop the women’s amateur division leaderboard.