Saturday, August 24, 2013 - Submitted by Brian Decker, PGA TOUR Canada staff
Leon builds three shot lead at The Wildfire Invitational presented by PC Financial
Chilean looking for back-to-back wins on PGA TOUR Canada
Second round Leaderboard – The Wildfire Invitational presented by PC Financial
(Bold denotes Canadian)
1. Hugo Leon – 65 (-14)
T-2. Kyle Stough – 68 (-11)
T-2. Mackenzie Hughes – 66 (-11)
4. Cory Renfrew – 67 (-10)
T-5. Nick Taylor – 67 (-9)
T-5. Derek Berg - 67 (-9)
T-5. Mark Hubbard - 65 (-9)
(August 30, 2013 – Peterborough, ON) – Santiago, Chile’s Hugo Leon kept his streak of strong play going Friday, firing a 6-under par 65 to reach 14-under par total through 36 holes and building a three shot lead at The Wildfire Invitational presented by PC Financial.
Leon, the winner at The Great Waterway Classic last week, carded seven birdies and one bogey and found himself with the largest 36-hole lead on PGA TOUR Canada this season, three ahead of Dundas, Ontario’s Mackenzie Hughes and Laurel, Maryland’s Kyle Stough, and four up on Victoria, British Columbia’s Cory Renfrew. The 28-year old said a hot putter Friday helped continue his recent streak of strong play.
“Today was my best putting day easily all year. I rolled in so many good ones today,” said Leon. “I wasn’t aggressive as I was yesterday, so the putts were a little longer but still I made so many good ones today. I made three or four putts today that were incredible.”
Leon capped the day with a 28-footer for birdie, bouncing back from his only bogey of the day at the eighth to reach 6-under on the day. With the round, Leon is now an incredible 36-under for his last 108 holes dating back to The Great Waterway Classic.
“The putt I made on nine was crazy. It tracked all the way,” said Leon. “I got more out of today’s round than what I did yesterday, which is weird to describe. I really feel that today was a lower score for the way I played than I how I did yesterday so I’m really happy with it.”
Sitting in a tie for second were Hughes, who birdied three of his last four holes for a 66, and Stough, who shot 68 to reach 11-under par. Hughes started the season with no status on PGA TOUR Canada but played his way into the field this week through a handful of strong finishes while playing on sponsor’s exemptions, while Stough is in position for his third top-10 of the season.
Renfrew liking his chances heading into the weekend
After rolling in a 15-footer for birdie on the 18th hole, Cory Renfrew raised his putter and pumped his fist. The 27-year old’s closing birdie gave him a 4-under par 67 in round two and put him in the second-to-last group of the day Saturday at 10-under total, tied for third.
“I really wanted that one after a bogey on 16,” said Renfrew, who made his only bogey of the tournament at the 16th but bounced back with a tough up-and-down for birdie at the par-5 18th. “I pulled my approach into the bunker and had some extra focus on that for sure.”
The Victoria native has three top-10 finishes on PGA TOUR Canada this season, currently sitting 11th on the Order of Merit with three events to go and liking his position to close the year.
“I like the way I played last week and things have gone well the first couple of days here,” said Renfrew. “I just have to keep doing the things I’ve been doing and hopefully things will work out.”
Taylor back in the hunt after rare missed cut
After posting top-10 finishes in four of the first five PGA TOUR Canada events this season, Nick Taylor’s missed cut at The Great Waterway Classic was a rare blemish on what has been an outstanding year for the 25-year old. But after rounds of 66 and 67 to start the week, Taylor is back where he’s been found regularly at events this season: in the hunt heading to the weekend.
“I hit it really well again last week and just had a tough time with the putter, which was the first time all year really. It was one of those roller coasters when you think you make the cut and then you miss,” said Taylor, who shot 2-under par for the first two rounds in Morrisburg before a birdie in the last group pushed him outside the cut. With a birdie at the 18th on Friday, however, Taylor, who sits seventh on the Order of Merit, said he’s glad to be playing in one of the last groups on the weekend once again.
“I’ll need two really good ones for sure, but it’s good to be back in contention again.”
Mackenzie Wins Pro-Am competition
With a 36-hole score of 22-under par, Brian Mackenzie won the pro-am competition at The Wildfire Invitational presented by PC Financial. Mackenzie teed it up with Sean Shahi on day one and George Bradford on day two, posting a 22-under net total. Click here for pro-am scores.
- Weather: Cloud giving way to showers in the evening, 25 degrees Celsius, wind 15 km/h
- Leon’s three shot lead is the largest on PGA TOUR Canada this season, topping two-stroke leads by Matt Marshall at the Times Colonist Island Savings Open and Jaco Ahlers at the Dakota Dunes Open presented by SaskTel
- Leon is looking to become the first multiple winner and back-to-back winner on PGA TOUR Canada. There has been a back-to-back winner on TOUR ever year since 2006
- 55 players broke par in round two, compared to 69 in round one
- The par-4 seventh hole, a converted par-5, is playing as the hardest hole through two rounds at 4.56, while the par-5 eighth is playing the easiest at 4.48
- The 36-hole cut came at 2-under par. 57 players made it to the weekend, while four of The Five (Riley Wheeldon, Joe Panzeri, Wil Collins and Stephen Gangluff) missed the cut
- The distance between Leon’s 14-under total and the 2-under cut (12 shots) is the largest between a 36-hole leader and cut this season
- Round three tee times will begin at 8:30 AM Saturday, with the final pairing of Leon and Stough teeing off at 1:10 PM