Syncrude Boreal Open Update – 2015 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada

A golf ball's dimpled surfaces have less wind resistance.
Whitewater Golf Club
The 18th hole at Whitewater Golf Course – Awaiting the Staal Foundation Open

THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Staal Foundation Open is drawing ever nearer. The 2015 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada is in Fort Mac Alberta this weekend.

Thornhill, Ontario’s Ben Silverman birdied the 18th hole for a 3-under 69 on Saturday at Fort McMurray Golf Club to take a 1-shot lead into the final round of the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON, the third event of the 2015 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.

Entering the day with a two-shot lead, the 27-year old posted five birdies to offset two bogeys, reaching 16-under after hitting his approach within five feet on the final hole of the day and converting the putt to lead by one over Longwood, Florida’s Sam Ryder and two over Airdrie, Alberta’s Riley Fleming heading into Sunday.

“I like having the lead, but it was a little struggle early. I hit some wild tee shots and had some lucky breaks. I just kept telling myself I always wanted to see my name on the top of the leaderboard. That was the push, never to let anyone take me over,” said Silverman, a second year member on the Mackenzie Tour with two top-10 finishes to his name.

The Palm Beach Gardens, Florida resident has led or co-led after every round this week, having shared the opening round lead thanks to an 8-under 64 on Thursday. Silverman said seeing his name at the top of the leaderboard will be all the motivation he needs to keep the field at bay heading into the final round.

“Once I see my name on top, it’s motivation to keep it there, so I’ll be going in there with the attitude of making birdies and to keep pushing the envelope to get the scores lower and lower,” said Silverman, who is benefiting from some local knowledge this week thanks to caddie Brody Ellis, a 2-handicap who plays regularly at Fort McMurray Golf Club.

“He always knows where the prevailing winds are so I’m always asking him about that, and he knows the greens really well,” said Silverman. “He helps me out a lot, knowing it’s firm here or there, or it tends to funnel here. It helps a lot.”

Ryder, also a second year Mackenzie Tour member, matched the low round of the day with a 7-under 65, and said his game has been rounding into form just in time for this week.

“I had a good week with my coach, Adam Schriber, in Michigan to get ready for this week. I’ve been playing well. I’ve been swinging well and had a nice top-10 finish in Victoria, and I’m pretty confident right now,” said Ryder.

Two back of Silverman was Fleming, the fourth-youngest member of the Mackenzie Tour at 21, who carded a 3-under 69 and will join Silverman and Ryder in the final threesome on Sunday.


4: Career Mackenzie Tour victories for Stuart Anderson.

0: Career Mackenzie Tour victories for the rest of the players in the top-10 combined.

2: Bogeys for Ben Silverman this week, each coming today in round three.


“The first two tournaments, I played pretty pathetically, to be honest, and it’s good to get off to a good start this week and hopefully I can keep it rolling the rest of the year.” – Mackenzie Tour rookie Talor Gooch, who carded a 5-under 67 to sit tied for fourth.

“I have no status anywhere. I was actually kind of debating if I wanted to coach or not. I always wanted to [be a tour pro], but I wasn’t sure about it full time because of the financial situation. I don’t have any sponsors or anything. I always want to compete, but I was just thinking I was going to coach for a bit.” – Monday Qualifier Christopher Trunzer, who shot a 2-under 70 to sit 13-under in a tie for fourth through 54 holes.

“The guys are so good out here that you can play great and not get the chance to be in the hunt, so I was just trying to take advantage and hopefully that will help down the road when I get in this position again.” – Riley Fleming on learning from the experience of playing in the final group on the weekend.


  • Weather: Sunny. 31 degrees Celsius. Winds 18 km/h.
  • Round 3 tee times will take place from 7:20 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. with players teeing off in threesomes off the first tee.
  • Order of Merit leader Albin Choi shot a 4-under 68 to sit tied for 26th.
  • Ryder’s 7-under 65 was matched by Olin Browne, Jr., who moved up 33 spots into a tie for 18th.
  • The last Monday Qualifier to win on the Mackenzie Tour was Tom Hoge at The Players Cup in 2011.
  • Fort McMurray native Stuart Anderson had a wild round of 1-under 71 that included two double bogeys, three bogeys and eight birdies, placing him tied for sixth at 12-under.
  • Ben Silverman has led or co-led after every round this week. Bayview Place Island Savings Open champion Albin Choi did the same in winning two weeks ago in Victoria.
  • Ben Silverman won three straight times earlier this year on the Tour, a Florida-based Mini Tour.
  • Click here for online scores.
  • Click here for agate scores.


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