COCHRANE – SPORTS – Jupiter, Florida’s Olin Browne, Jr. and Antibes, France’s Julien Brun carded a pair of 7-under 63s on Thursday at The Links of GlenEagles to share the first round lead at the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada’s ATB Financial Classic.
Browne, the son of three-time PGA TOUR winner Olin Browne, carded seven birdies, an eagle and two bogeys while Brun, a three-time first team All-American at Texas Christian University in his first season as a pro, was bogey-free with seven birdies.
“I got off to a good start. I had my putter working really well and hit some good shots,” said Browne, who birdied the difficult par-4 10th to start the day. “Right out of the box. It was a nice start. I had about 15-feet down the hill and it happened to go in.”
The 27-year old finds himself in Calgary one week before his dad Olin Sr. is set to compete at the Shaw Charity Classic on the Champions Tour, and said he’d love to stick around town if not for the opportunity to spend time at home during next week’s off week with his young family.
“He’s playing next week. He wanted me to caddie for him, but I have a six-month old at home and have to get home to the wife and baby,” said Brown, who admitted it was tempting to stay around in Calgary. “I went fishing in the bow river on Monday and had a great time. It’s a wonderful town and the weather’s perfect.”
Brun, who earned medalist honours at the California Q-School earlier this year, said he was pleased with his 63, the lowest round of his promising young pro career.
“Overall it was a really good round. I played well and I’m satisfied. Today I drove the ball really well and was in the fairway most of the time,” said Brun, who has posted finishes of T11, T8 and T14 in his last three starts.
The 23-year old said he’s becoming more comfortable as the summer goes on in his first season as a pro, and that the transition from team golf to playing for a living has taken some time to adjust to.
“It’s a little different for sure. In team golf, if you shoot even par every round you’re going to help the team and might finish Top-20 or -30. Out here, you don’t do anything. The cuts are super low. You need to play well to win, but the cuts are definitely a big difference,” said Brun.
One shot back of the lead through Thursday’s play was a group of six players at 6-under 64, including 2012 ATB Financial Classic champion Michael Gligic and Alberta native Danny Sahl along with Jeff Rein, Joey Garber, Cameron Peck and Daniel Miernicki.
NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW
87: The number of players under par after day one.
10: Bogey-free rounds: Julien Brun/63; Michael Gligic/64; Joey Garber 64; Charlie Winegardner 65; David McKenzie 66; Michael Schoolcraft 66; Mackenzie Hughes 66; Ryan Thornton 66; Matthew Pinizzotto 67; Maxwell Buckley 68.
2: Former ATB Financial Classic champions in the top-10 (Michael Gligic T3/-6; Joe Panzeri T9/-5).
“Really, I had no expectations. I kept them low and have been playing as much as I can after Mike took his leave of absence. I’ve been playing and enjoying the game, and look what happens, right? I’m away from [playing the game], but I’m around the best players in the world, so I know how they’re acting, what they’re doing out there and what they’re working on. I pay attention to all that stuff.” – Danny Sahl, who caddies for Mike Weir on the PGA TOUR. Sahl opened with a 6-under 64 in his first round of the season on the Mackenzie Tour.
“I’ve always felt comfortable here. Even after I won I was in contention the following year and then even last year, even though I missed the cut. I don’t know what it is; maybe the ball flies a little farther here.” – 2012 ATB Financial Classic champion Michael Gligic on returning to an event with his name on the trophy.
“This is my second year playing out here and the scores are not high. You’ve got to make a lot of birdies. I’ve played better on some of the harder golf courses, but shooting low scores is definitely something you need to do out here.” – Daniel Miernicki on the need to shoot low scores to compete on the Mackenzie Tour.
- Weather: 26 degrees Celsius. Sunny. Winds 18 km/h.
- Since missing the cut in his Mackenzie Tour debut, Julien Brun has posted finishes of T11, T8 and T14.
- Olin Browne, Jr.’s best career finishes on the Mackenzie Tour are a pair of T4s at the PC Financial Open and Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist last season.
- The first round leader or co-leader has gone on to win just once in six events this season.
- Danny Sahl has caddied for Mike Weir on the PGA TOUR for parts of five seasons since 2011.
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