Healey’s 10-under start vaults him to the 36-hole lead in Québec
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BROMONT, Québec— Dylan Healey parlayed a hot front nine into a 4-under 66 Friday, leaving him at 10-under 130 and giving him a one-shot lead at the halfway point of PGA TOUR Canada’s Québec Open presented by Videotron Business.
Healey had to return early Friday morning to finish his weather-halted first round and recorded a 64. He continued to build on the momentum by making four birdies and shooting 31 on his front nine and surged into the lead for the first time this season.
Healey, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, holds the one-stroke advantage over Canadian Chris R. Wilson, whose 63 was the co-low round of the day, and Davis Lamb, who won the ATB Classic two weeks ago and shot 66 at the Golf Château Bromont.
Tied for fourth, at 8-under 132, are Canadian Sudarshan Yellamaraju, and U.S. players David Kim and Nolan Ray, who also shot a 63. Seven players are tied for seventh, at 7-under 133, including Canadians Étienne Brault and Joey Savoie.
After beginning with two bogeys on his first six holes of the first round, Healey found his groove. The lefthander birdied seven of the final 12 holes and shot 30 on the closing nine to complete his first round. The birdie train continued when he opened with a 31 and finished with a 66 for the second round.
Healey has made the cut in two of his three starts and tied for 16th at the ATB Classic in Edmonton. He has leaned on the patience acquired that comes with being a self-professed graybeard.
“I’m 29, so I’m the old guy out here,” Healey said. “(The mental game) is something I’ve worked hard on. Everyone in my inner circle—girlfriend, dad, friends I worked with at the Mountain (Golf Course) in Tucson (Arizona)—all of them have kept me positive and give me a lot of confidence. I’m thankful to be out here.”
Wilson surged into a tie for second. The Toronto native has struggled this season, missing the cut twice and finishing 62nd at the ATB Classic in Edmonton—despite shooting a first-round 62. His bogey-free card featured seven birdies Friday.
“I scored really well,” Wilson said. “I just tried to, honestly, keep it simple. The past few weeks I’ve had a few too many big numbers on the card, so this week, especially with the conditions [Thursday], I literally tried to play for par. I kind of stuck to that game plan today to make it the least stressful as possible, tee to green.”
Lamb has quickly grown accustomed to seeing his name on the leaderboard. The Bethesda, Maryland, native won the ATB Classic in Edmonton two weeks ago and is tied for second on the Fortinet Cup standings. He followed a first-round 65 with a 66.
“It was a pretty routine round. It was a good round all-around. I’ll get a little bit of practice in and tighten some things up, but I’m happy with it overall,” said Lamb of his post-round plans.
Brault moved up 38 spots on the board with his 64. The Montreal native is motivated by the boisterous support of his family and friends in attendance.
“It means so much,” Brault said. “I’ve played this tournament for the past four years and didn’t play very well in the past, so it really feels good to play well. It’s pretty much the most important tournament of the season for me. People are so great here. The fans are awesome. They love their golf in Québec, so it’s really fun to have the support.”
Brault capped the round with an eagle, draining a 34-footer that broke about four feet. It created the loudest roar on the golf course.
“It’s fun because I did the same thing [Thursday],” he said. “I’ll average a three on that hole any time. I’ll take that.”
Savoie, of La Prairie, Québec, is joining PGA TOUR Canada full time now that PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’sseason has finished. He birdied the final three holes to shoot 65 on Friday, after finishing 41st in the Totalplay Cup two weeks ago in Mexico, that Tour’s equivalent of the Fortinet Cup.
“I started making putts because I felt like my ball-striking was much better than [Thursday],” Savoie said. “I was getting good looks all day and couldn’t make anything. Then I made a good par save on No. 6 and got the ball rolling. After that I made birdie on 7, birdie on 8 and birdie on 9. It’s a good way to cap off today.”
The cut came at 2-under 138 and 61 players qualified for the weekend. It is the fewest number of players to make the cut in four 2023 PGA TOUR Canada events.
Thirty Canadians entered this week’s Québec Open powered by Videotron Business, with 11 making the cut and qualifying for the weekend. Through 36 holes, leading the way for the Canadians is Chris R. Wilson. He’s at 9-under and a stroke behind leader DylanHealey.
Chris Korte had to wait 12 hours to finish his final hole, after the first round was suspended by bad weather. Korte rolled in a short eagle putt on the 18th hole to complete an 8-under 62 over Thursday and Friday. The magic didn’t carry over to the second round, as Korte skied to a 4-over 74 and fell back into a tie for 32nd. The 12-shot differential matched Andrew Garner (Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open) for the largest digression from one round to the other this season.
Chris Korte’s 62 matched the low 18-round of the season. He joined George Kneiser and Stephen Franken, who did it at the Royal Beach Victoria Open, and Sam Choi, who shot 62 at the Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open.
Six players joined PGA TOUR Canada this week after the conclusion of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season. Canadian Joey Savoie and Luis Gerardo Garza of Mexico fared the best, standing in a tie for seventh, at 7-under 133.
Twoof the 10 Canadians who received sponsor exemptions made the cut—Brandon Lacasse (5-under, tied for 18th) and Michael Blair (2-under, tied for 51st). Yohann Benson, Laurent Desmarchais, John Colin Davis, Dom Lalonde, Jean-Philippe Parr, Marc-Olivier Plasse, Johnny Travale and Mark Hurtibise did not qualify for the weekend.
Fortinet Cup leader ÉtiennePapineau, who earlier became the first Quebec native to win on PGA TOUR Canada since 2013 when he claimed the Royal Beach Victoria Open, reversed his fortunes from a first-round 72 by shooting 64 to safely make it into weekend play. He enters the third round tied for 18th. No. 2 John Pak, who won the Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open, followed his 67 with a 66 and is tied for seventh, at 7-under.
Former University of Texas All-America Travis Vick missed the cut in his professional debut after rounds of 78-72.
“Attitude is the biggest thing I struggle with, so I’ve worked really hard on just kind of being calm out there. Got off to a tough start this week but keeping my composure and to bounce back and end up having eight birdies in the first round and then played really nicely today.” – Dylan Healey
“Just go have fun. It’s nice to see my name at the top. I know I belong. It’s just a matter of being patient and hopefully good things will happen.” – Dylan Healey
“I got a lot of confidence from two weeks ago, and it was nice to have a week off to celebrate appropriately, take a few days off to rest and then back on it. Couldn’t have asked much more the first two days out here and looking forward to the weekend.” – Davis Lamb
“With this Tour and how good the guys are and how low the scores are, it’s easy to get into a mindset where I’ve got to make birdies or else I’m falling behind the eight ball. But that’s when you get caught up and can make some bigger, bigger mistakes. So, this week (I’m) just trying to go back to basics and trust my game plan that got me here.” – Chris R. Wilson
“I think the trend in Canada is thick rough around the fairways, so it’s a premium to hit it in the fairway because you can be a little more aggressive coming into the greens. If you get out of position on the wrong side of the hole, you’re going to have a really tough time making par, so it’s about plotting your way around.” – Davis Lamb
”I’m happy to score well. I feel like I’ve been playing great all season. It’s just been some mistakes here and some loose shots, and I felt like I couldn’t really miss anything at the beginning of the season. I’ve done such good work with my sports psychologist throughout the last four weeks, and I got here in such a great mindset. And (my) score reflects how well I’m playing at the moment.” – Étienne Brault
“It feels very special. I played the (RBC) Canadian Open twice, and being a Canadian, it’s just a different type of energy. So, it’s important and I’m glad I’m off to a good start.” – Joey Savoie
Second-Round Weather: Mostly cloudy and mild. High of 26. Wind W at 4-6 kph.