Pereira’s 63 sets course record, leads Mackenzie Investments Open by two

The Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada Staal Foundation Open
The Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada

First-Round Leaderboard

Mackenzie Investments Open presented by Jaguar Laval

Pos. Name

Scores

Current Order of Merit Position

Amount Behind OOM No. 5

1

Corey Pereira (U.S.) 29-34—63

6

$5,537

2

Blake Olson (U.S.) 32-33—65

42

$47,257

T3

Theo Humphrey (U.S.) 34-32—66

65

$53,940

T3

Paul McConnell (U.S.) 32-34—66

41

$46,364

T3

Matthew Picanso (U.S.) 33-33—66

86

$55,650

T6

JD Tomlinson (U.S.) 33-34—67

59

$51,872

T6

Zach Wright (U.S.) 32-35—67

2

N/A

T6

Alex Chiarella (U.S.) 34-33—67

110

$58,201

T6

Cody Blick (U.S.) 34-33—67

10

$18,069

T6

Christopher Petefish (U.S.) 32-35—67

104

$57,585

T6

Andrew Dorn (U.S.) 34-33—67

24

$38,917

T6

Jake Knapp (U.S.) 35-32—67

111

$58,250

Full leaderboard: https://www.pgatour.com/canada/en_us/leaderboard.html

Montreal, QC, Canada— An object in motion generally stays in motion, and just one event removed from his first professional victory at the ATB Financial Classic, Corey Pereira seems to have maintained his momentum through the off-week and into this week’s Mackenzie Investments Open presented by Jaguar Laval.

With a staggering nine birdies on his round, the Mission Viejo, CA native played a bogey-free round for the seventh time this season and matched his lowest score relative-to-par as a professional golfer in the form of a 9-under 63 to set the Elm Ridge Country Club course record.

“It was awesome, I really got it going out there,” said Pereira. “Tee-to-green, it was mediocre, but I haven’t putt that well in a long time; I seemed to make everything out there and golf is fun when it’s like that.”

While a hot putter was the case in Montreal, just under a month ago in Calgary, the Washington University alum proved he could do it by striking the ball as well, firing rounds of 64-65-62-67.

While Pereira self-admitting to struggling with the flat stick during his second round at the ATB Financial Classic, it was how he turned it around that won him the title.

“I know how difficult it is to win; one warm day doesn’t mean it’s the summer,” said the second-year pro. “I can go out tomorrow and struggle, but I have to be prepared for anything, and there’s some things I need to tighten up if I want to win this tournament.”

Currently in the No. 6 position on the Order of Merit, a win would solidify Pereira’s spot among The Five that gain Web.com Tour status at season’s end, and while Pereira knows this, it’s not something he is actively going to think about as the week goes on.

“It’s huge being in that top-5, I know that,” said Pereira, who finished last season at No. 39 on the Order of Merit. “I can only control my game, take it one shot at a time, try to shoot the lowest score I can and see where the numbers stack up.”

Two Canadians currently sit in a tie for 13th at 4-under, Luke Moser, who Monday qualified into the event, and Sebastian Szirmak, a Quebec native playing this week on a Sponsor’s Exemption.

The duo leads the charge for the Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week award, while Mackenzie Tour regulars this season Taylor Penrith and Michael Gligic sit in a tie for 42ndat 2-under.

Key Information

  • When asked about his ability to take rounds way under-par, Corey Pereira made reference to his closest call to a 59 at Cameron Park Country Club, his home club in California. Playing with his course-record holding friend, Pereira had a putt for 59 on the final hole that would not only get him to the elusive number for the first time but would also break his pal’s record by one. While Pereira left the putt on the lip, he says it’s rounds like those back home that taught him how to play freely when under par.
  • Entering the week at No. 65 on the Order of Merit, Theo Humphrey played his best round since the Windsor Championship in July, avoiding any bogeys to fire a 66 to put him in a tie for third place.
  • With his spot in the Freedom 55 Financial Championship secured, Blake Olson has his sights set on more as he comes into the Mackenzie Investments Open presented by Jaguar Laval in spot No. 42 on the Order of Merit. In search of his third top-10 of the season, Olson made eight birdies, including two to close out his round, to shoot 65.
  • While Paul McConnell opened the season strongly with back-to-back top-15 finishes to start the year, he has struggled since, missing three cuts. However, on Thursday at Elm Ridge the University of Texas-Arlington alum was back in form, making five birdies in a row from hole Nos. 13-17 before closing with a par to fire a 66.
  • Last season, JD Tomlinson finished the season as the odd-man out in spot No. 61 on the Order of Merit, giving him no status on the Mackenzie Tour. Working his way back onto the Tour, Tomlinson comes into Montreal in a similar position, currently at number 59. The Gainesville, FL native did himself a favour on Thursday, making six birdies to fire a 67 to sit comfortable in a tie for sixth.
  • Zach Wright, who, while playing consistently, has cooled slightly since his dominant start to the season, looks to solidify his spot at No. 2 on the Order of Merit with a good finish this week at Elm Ridge. The Louisiana State product got off on the right foot on Thursday, carding a bogey-free 67 to sit in a tie for sixth.
  • Order of Merit leader Tyler McCumber, winner of three of the past four Mackenzie Tour events, played his worst first round since the season-opening Freedom 55 Financial Open, making four birdies and two bogeys to shoot 70.

Quotable

“I just tried to shoot 59 when I had that going, and my home course is like that, it plays pretty easy and we shoot some low rounds out there, so I try to go as low as I can, and I feel like I’m comfortable under-par and I’m comfortable going more under par. My background helped me today.”

Corey Pereira  

“I just played pretty solid, hit the driver really well, gave myself some short irons and then just made a couple putts, so it was an easy day overall. The wind was starting to pick up towards the end of the day, so it was a bit more difficult for the guys in the afternoon, but overall I played really good.”

Blake Olson

“I’ve got other goals, like, trying to get into the top-10 and we’ve got two weeks to do it, so I’m trying to do all I can and just play well each day. Being aggressive off the tees and being patient coming in is just really a priority, so that’s what I’m going to try to do all week.”

Blake Olson

“I started off hitting a snap hook on the first hole and thought, ‘oh boy, this might not be good,’ but I ended up making a great par putt, about an eight-footer, on one of the easiest holes on the golf course. To make that save to start the day allowed me to have a good round, and I hit the ball really well after that and ended up shooting a good score.”

Theo Humphrey  

“I think I’ve been too focused most of this year on end results, trying to do this or trying to do that, I just need to go out there and play good golf and that usually adds up pretty well.”

Theo Humphrey  

First-Round Weather: Warm and sunny, 23 degrees Celsius with minimal wind.