PGA TOUR Canada: Kneiser Charges Ahead at Royal Beach Victoria Open with Remarkable 8-Under 62

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PGA TOUR Canada tee marker

PGA TOUR Canada’s season opener sees fierce competition with Kneiser leading the pack, closely followed by du Toit, Harned, and Francoeur

VICTORIA, British Columbia — Rise and shine, sports fans! Here in the picturesque surroundings of British Columbia, the golfing world was treated to a masterclass as George Kneiser, a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, stepped up his game, soaring to the top of the leaderboard in the first round of the Royal Beach Victoria Open. This prestigious event marked the start of the 10-tournament PGA TOUR Canada schedule.

Against a cool morning backdrop, Kneiser, teeing off first, set the course ablaze with a dazzling bogey-free 8-under 62. This put him in pole position in the race for the coveted season-long Fortinet Cup. His scintillating performance was five strokes better than his previous best on the PGA TOUR Canada, a testament to his improvement and dedication to the sport.

Chasing Kneiser’s lead are a trio of talented golfers: Canada’s own Jared du Toit from Kimberly, British Columbia, Sam Harned hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts’ Chris Francoeur. Each player is just a stroke behind, promising a thrilling competition as the tournament unfolds.

Du Toit, a familiar face at the Uplands Golf Club, managed to shake off a stumble with a bogey at No. 11 to finish with an impressive 7-under 63. His performance is a return to form, marking his best score since last August’s CRMC Championship. He’s no stranger to the Uplands greens, having made his professional debut here back in 2017, and his knowledge of the course is evident in his play.

Meanwhile, Francoeur, whose roots extend to Quebec through his mother, sparked to life on the back nine with a streak of three consecutive birdies contributing to a final score of 63. Harned, making his debut on the PGA TOUR Canada, nearly stole the show, threatening a “59 watch” after an eagle on the 12th hole. However, a bogey on the 14th hole put paid to his record-setting dreams, but not before he carded an impressive 63.

Sharing the fifth spot on the leaderboard are Etienne Papineau from Quebec, Cole Bradley from Louisville, Kentucky, Genki Okada from Japan, and Chris Korte from Littleton, Colorado. Each player shot a 6-under 64, showcasing the depth of talent in the field.

In other notable developments, Henry Lee, one of Canada’s representatives, made the crowd roar as he scored the first hole-in-one of the season on the 14th hole. The golfing world is buzzing with excitement after a record-setting year in 2022 when ten different PGA TOUR Canada players made holes-in-one in four different tournaments.

To wrap things up, here’s a quick rundown of the Canadian players who broke par in the first round: du Toit is tied for second with a 7-under 63, Papineau is tied for fifth with a 6-under 64, and Henry Lee is tied for ninth with a 5-under 65.

So, golf enthusiasts, buckle up for more exciting action from the greens of the Royal Beach Victoria Open. With the competition heating up and the leaderboard tight, we’re in for a wild ride. Stay tuned!

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