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  • CANADA LIFE

    Holmes takes one-shot lead into final round at Bear Mountain

  • Holmes’ first-round 63 leaves him set up to earn this week’s bonus pool prize established by current and former PGA TOUR players, who donated money to reward the player with the low round of each tournament.
    Holmes’ first-round 63 leaves him set up to earn this week’s bonus pool prize established by current and former PGA TOUR players, who donated money to reward the player with the low round of each tournament.
  • In This Article
  • LANGFORD, B.C.—Evan Holmes was not as crisp as he was Monday when he opened the Canada Life Series at Bear Mountain: Mountain Course event with a sterling 63. On a day where he only managed three birdies and two bogeys, shooting a 1-under 70, it was still enough to get him to 9-under and good for a one-shot advantage over Lawren Rowe heading into the final round Wednesday. Zach Anderson is alone in third, three shots behind, while Golf Canada team member Laurent Desmarchais and Albert Pistorius are at 5-under and four back.

    “It was a little tricky all day. I didn’t really get off to a good start. The wind was swirling so it was tough to commit to some clubs out there,” said Holmes, the former University of British Columbia standout. He opened his day with three pars and a bogey, at the par-3 fourth, not exactly breaking quickly out of the gate. Holmes got that stroke right back with a birdie at the fifth before parring out, making the turn at even-par.

    “Conditions were a lot tougher today. The pins were a little bit harder, and there was a lot more wind, a lot more swirling. The back nine was tough.”

    Even so, Holmes made a textbook birdie at No. 10, hitting his tee shot to the island green to about a foot. His final birdie of the day came at the 13th, with a bogey at No. 11 squeezed in. From there, he parred out.

    Rowe began the day three shots behind Holmes but narrowed the gap with his 68, on the strength of five birdies.

    “My round was pretty similar to [Monday] actually. I started off a bit slow and just got through the front nine at even. I hit the back nine and was able to make a few birdies from there. I made a few putts finally.”

    Rowe’s most-memorable hole of the day was his birdie on the par-3 14th. Although he wasn’t going directly at the pin, his tee shot landed 15 feet from the hole. He rolled that putt in during what was the middle of a four-birdies-in-six-hole stretch.

    Did you know Evan Holmes’ career-low 18-hole Mackenzie Tour round is the 65 he shot in the third round of the 2019 DC Bank Open? Holmes’ first-round 63 leaves him set up to earn this week’s bonus pool prize established by current and former PGA TOUR players, who donated money to reward the player with the low round of each tournament. That player receives $2,750.

    Key Information

    - The cut came at 8-over, with 61 players advancing to Wednesday’s final round.
    The leaders—Evan Holmes, Lawren Rowe and Zach Anderson—will tee off at 10:59 a.m. Wednesday.

    - The winner of the Order of Merit earns a playing spot in the 2021 RBC Canadian Open on the PGA TOUR. The invitation is courtesy of Golf Canada. He also earns conditional 2021 Mackenzie Tour status and six guaranteed tournament starts. The players finishing Nos. 2-5 on the Order of Merit also earn conditional status and are assured 2021 starts in two tournaments.

    - There were 253 birdies and 10 eagles Tuesday, with $1,465 earned for charity. For each birdie a player makes during this 54-hole event, Canada Life is donating $5 through its Birdies for Kids initiative. In addition, Canada Life is donating $20 for every eagle. Money donated from the two events here in British Columbia will go to Canucks Autism Network, founded in 2008 by Vancouver Canucks co-owners Paolo and Clara Aquilini, who have a son with autism. CAN provides programs to individuals with autism and their families and works to promote acceptance and inclusion through community engagement and training initiatives in BC and beyond.

    Canada Life Birdies for Kids

    Round

    Birdies

    Eagles

    Money Donated

    First

    281

    4

    $1,485

    Second

    253

    10

    $1,465

    Totals

    534

    14

    $2,950

    - Four players have turned in back-to-back sub-70 rounds this week: Lawren Rowe (66-68), Zach Anderson (68-68), amateur Laurent Desmarchais (68-69) and Yi Cao (69-69).

    - The biggest improvement from one round to the next belonged to Bret Thompson. He recovered from an opening 80 to shoot 68 and make the cut. He’s tied for 43rd after his five-birdie performance Tuesday.

    - Amateur Nolan Thoroughgood also made a dramatic improvement on day two. He opened with a 4-over 75 but shaved seven strokes off that number Tuesday. Thoroughgood was even on his front nine but used an eagle at No. 12 and a birdie at the 13th to shoot his 68. He’s tied for 18th.

    - Going in the other direction was Drew Nesbitt. The PGA TOUR Latinoamérica player opened with a 67 but struggled in the second round, shooting a 6-over 77. He had a triple bogey-7 at the par-4 15th and closed with a bogey at the last. Nesbitt is tied for 20th with 18 holes to play.

    - South Africa’s Albert Pistorius opened with an even-par 71 but recovered with a 66 to move into a tie for fourth. Pistorius was 2-over through six holes but made seven birdies over his final 12 holes—including a birdie at No. 18.

    - Of the five amateurs in the field, Laurent Desmarchais continues to lead the way. He’s tied for fourth after his second consecutive sub-70 round. The 19-year-old, two-year Golf Canada team member was one of three amateurs to make the cut. Nolan Thoroughgood, a sophomore at Oregon State University, and 18-year-old Jace Minni, a Golf Canada junior squad member, were the others.

    Quotable

    “I thought my nerves would be worse this morning, but they weren’t too bad. After you hit the first tee shot it’s all good.” –Evan Holmes

    “I was just trying to hit fairways and attack pins. It wasn’t quite as good today, but there’s always tomorrow. That’s my strategy.” –Evan Holmes

    “It can get pretty dicey if you’re not in the fairway. That’s the No. 1 thing.” –Evan Holmes

    “It’s good being in the lead, tomorrow will be fun.” –Evan Holmes

    “The course was still in beautiful shape. I loved it, but it definitely played windier. It was a bit of a different wind than [Monday], too, I thought it was trickier in the directions it was blowing.” –Lawren Rowe

    “The course was set up more challenging today. There definitely were some tucked pins today.” –Lawren Rowe

    “I felt good out there. I thought it was a little bit trickier today. The wind was definitely up, especially on those back-nine holes where we’re pretty exposed. So, I was pretty happy with how I played.” –Lawren Rowe

    “I didn’t know what to expect today, but I didn’t think the course would play so getable. I just didn’t remember that from the past.” –Lawren Rowe

    “I was super solid off the tee and started with an eagle on No. 1, where I made about a 30-footer, so that jumpstarted things. My putt probably would have gone 10 feet by, so I’m glad it hit the pin. It was nice to get a good break right off the start.” –Zach Anderson

    “I was pretty steady all along. I made a couple mistakes early on but made another eagle on 12, which kickstarted my round again, and I finished with a couple birdies coming home.” –Zach Anderson

    “I think I missed two fairways the whole week so far. My game’s been really solid.” –Zach Anderson

    The wind picked up a little on the back nine, but I think I got pretty lucky being the third group off the tee this morning.” –Zach Anderson

    The course was good. It played tough but fair. Holes 10 and 13 were really tricky. Both greens are tough to hit anyway, so you had to aim away from the pins.” –Zach Anderson

    Second-Round Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 21. Wind E at 8-10 kph in the morning, increasing to 28-30 kph in the afternoon.