JUNE 6, 2019
NORTH VANCOUVER (PGA of British Columbia) -– Exciting finishes are in store for Friday’s final rounds in the 2019 PGA of BC Assistants’ & Seniors’ Championships presented by Natera Sport, as both tournaments have ties atop their leaderboards with 18 holes to play.
Andrew Rasmussen (Delta Golf Centre) and Cory Renfrew (Canadian Junior Golf Association) are knotted in the Assistants’ Championship lead after both players carded 4-under-par rounds of 68 on Thursday at Seymour Golf & Country Club.
In the Seniors’ Championship, four players hold a share of first place at even-par: Jim Goddard (Cordova Bay Golf Course), Doug Morgan (Richmond Country Club), Scott Rodgers (Morgan Creek Golf Course) and Philip Jonas (Philip Jonas Golf Academy).
Rasmussen assembled a steady round that featured five birdies and a single bogey on Thursday, playing the back nine in 2-under on a day when many players struggled after making the turn.
“I just putted well and hit it pretty well with my irons, and that’s what you’ve got to do on this golf course,” said Rasmussen. “I just kind of kept the ball in front of me all day, hit a lot of fairways and greens and rolled in a few putts here and there.”
The 27-year-old joined the PGA of Canada in 2017 and has impressed in competition against his peers since. He earned a top-20 finish in his Assistants’ Championship debut one year ago, bettered that with a T8 result at last year’s PGA of BC Championship, and is frequently in contention in Lower Mainland regional tour play.
“It would be awesome to win … there are a lot of great players in our Association,” said Rasmussen. “I’ll go out there tomorrow and try to do the same thing and see what happens.”
Renfrew, meanwhile, played in the final Assistants’ Championship group of the day Thursday and closed with birdies at Nos. 17 and 18 to join Rasmussen at 4-under. He finished with six birdies overall, even though he said he took a conservative approach to most of his round.
“I just tried to keep it simple because I haven’t been practicing or playing much,” said Renfrew. “I think I’ve only played (Seymour) twice and didn’t play a practice round this week, and was just going off what I remember.
“I gave myself lots of wedges in and putts, and didn’t get too aggressive off the tee.”
Renfrew, 33, has an impressive playing résumé that includes a Mackenzie Tour win, a BC Mid-Amateur title and starts on the PGA Tour. He’s seeking his first title in a PGA of BC-conducted championship, and said earning the title of Assistants’ Champion would be “special” for him.
“It would be cool. I haven’t played too many (PGA of BC events) or been in the Association for that long,” said Renfrew, who also became a PGA of Canada Professional in 2017. “Anytime you can win a big event like the Assistants’ would be awesome. So hopefully things work out and that can happen tomorrow.”
Rasmussen and Renfrew will be joined in the final group Friday by Chris Lee (Delta Golf Centre), who posted a 2-under 70 to open his tournament. Nate Ollis (Cordova Bay Golf Course) also shot 70 and is lurking two strokes behind.
Ollis will play in a talented penultimate group that will also feature reigning PGA of BC Champion Kevin Stinson (Cheam Mountain Golf Course) and five-time Assistants’ Championship winner Bryn Parry (Seymour Creek Golf Centre), both sitting at 1-under for the tournament. Finlay Young (The Harvest Golf Club) is also at 1-under-par, while two other players are sitting at even-par after 72s on Thursday: Michael Nedoszytko (Nicklaus North Golf Course) and Ben McKendrick (Capilano Golf & Country Club).
CLICK HERE to view full first-round scoring from the Assistants’ Championship and to see Friday’s Round 2 tee times.
In the Seniors’ Championship, the four players topping the leaderboard at the tournament’s midway point all seemed to take different routes to their opening-round 72s. Morgan and Rodgers both overcame a pair of double-bogeys to finish at even-par. Goddard rebounded from a tough start by playing his final 10 holes in 5-under-par. Aside from an eagle on the par-5 ninth, Jonas’s round was mostly uneventful as he closed with eight consecutive pars.
The four leaders are a decorated group when it comes to PGA of BC competitions. All four are past Assistants’ Championship winners, while Jonas and Morgan are both past winners of the Seniors’ Championship, among other PGA of BC titles.
Rodgers, who is making his Seniors’ Championship debut, will play in the final grouping with Morgan and Goddard. Jonas will play in the second-to-last group with Roy Abbenbroek (Seymour Golf & Country Club) and Troy Dunning (Camosun College), who are both in a group at 3-over-par that also includes David Kuss (Nanaimo Golf Club).
CLICK HERE to view full first-round scoring from the Seniors’ Championship and to see Friday’s Round 2 tee times.
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