Desmarchais rebounds from slow start to maintain advantage
September 10, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- September 10, 2020
- Laurent Desmarchais has won four World Amateur Golf Ranking-counting tournaments since 2018. (Getty Images)
CALEDON, Ontario—An early double bogey by 18-hole leader Laurent Desmarchais gave the impression that the amateur was not ready to maintain his lead at the Canada Life Series season finale at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley’s Heathlands Course. A clean scorecard after that opening miscue suggested otherwise. Following his early wobble, Desmarchais made six birdies and 11 pars to shoot a second-round 67 to go with his opening 62 that left him at 13-under overall and two shots ahead of Hugo Bernard and Joey Savoie with 18 holes to play.
The fun really began for Desmarchais when he made the turn. He was 1-over for the day stepping to the 10th tee, Heathlands’ No. 1. It was a nine where he had gone low a mere 18 hours earlier, shooting a 29 in the opening round.
“I just love this nine. I got on the first tee box and was like, Let's shoot another 29,” the 19-year-old said. “I started with four birdies and one chip-in and lipped out really hard on No. 5, and I knew it was a really good start.” In actuality, it was getting late in Desmarchais’ round when he made his fourth consecutive birdie, righting the ship. He added one more birdie, on the par-3 eighth, his second-to-last hole.
No putt, Desmarchais, a Golf Canada Junior Squad Member, said, was more important to his round than the birdie he rolled in on his fourth hole immediate after the double bogey. “It was like a 40-footer, and that was really big for my confidence,” the teenager added. “I haven't been in contention in this kind of event so far, but I was kind of close in my first [Canada Life Series tournament] at Bear Mountain. I just need to keep going and give myself a lot of chances [Friday].”
Savoie remained in contention with his Desmarchais-matching 67 that included only one bogey. “I think it’s a fun course to play, and if the wind is blowing it can play totally different. I like those types of courses,” he said.
Bernard opened with a birdie at No. 1, bogeyed No. 2, ended up birdieing three of the Heathlands Course’s four par-5s and made nothing but birdies (eight) and pars (eight) after that on his way to a day’s best 63.
Overall points leader Yi Cao didn’t hurt himself Thursday but could never gather any momentum, shooting a 2-under 69. He will begin the final round at 6-under and tied for 16th, a stroke behind Albert Pistorius. The South African, a mere 18 points behind Cao in the points chase, shot a 3-under 68 and is tied for 12th. Evan Holmes, the only other player who going into the week could have mathematically won the points title, shot a second consecutive 71 and is tied for 54th.
The leaders will tee off at noon EDT Friday, with the all-Quebec-based grouping of Desmarchais, Bernard and Savoie making up the final threesome.
Did you know Laurent Desmarchais, who is committed to play college golf at the University of Tennessee, has won four World Amateur Golf Ranking-counting tournaments since 2018? His victories came in 2018, at the Golf Quebec Boy’s Junior Championship, the Golf Quebec Junior Provincial Match-Play Championship, the Ping CCAA National Championship and the 2019 Pacific Northwest Amateur Championship.
Canada Life Series Points List
Through Canada Life Series at TPC Toronto: Heathlands Course
Third of four events
Andrew J. Funk
• The cut came at even-par, with 63 players advancing to the final round.
• The winner of the Canada Life Points List at the conclusion of this tournament 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 who finish Nos. 2-5 on the Points List also earn conditional status and are assured 2021 starts in two tournaments.
• Besides 36-hole leader Laurent Desmarchais, five other amateurs made the cut: Jordan Crampton (3-under and tied for 37th), Matthew Anderson, Nolan Piazza and Cougar Collins (2-under, tied for 39th) and Freddy D’Angelo (even-par, tied for 54th). Anderson plays golf at the University of San Francisco, Collins attends and plays at Eastern Michigan and D’Angelo also attends college in Michigan, at Oakland University.
• A Quebec-based player has never earned membership on the PGA TOUR. Jerry Anderson, a member in 1990 and 1992, was born in Quebec but grew up in Ontario.
• With 17 birdies at the second Bear Mountain tournament, Joey Savoie holds the record for most birdies in a tournament during the previous three Canada Life Series tournaments. This week, Savoie has made 13 through two rounds. Thirty-six-hole leader Laurent Desmarchais and Hugo Bernard have both posted 14 birdies to lead the field.
• The second-round leader has gone on to win all three previous Canada Life Series tournaments. Evan Holmes and Yi Cao both held the lead outright, while last week’s champion, Albert Pistorius, shared the 36-hole lead with Cao, Andrew J. Funk and Brendan Leonard.
• Hugo Bernard had a shaky start in his first Canada Life Series tournament, last week at TPC Toronto. He opened with a 6-over 77, essentially shooting himself out of the tournament on the first day. He’s been exceptional since. He rebounded a week ago with closing rounds of 68-67 to tie for 20th. He added a 68-63 start this week to sit in a tie for second with a round remaining. In his last four rounds, Bernard is 18-under.
• Eric Hawerchuk had a difficult Canada Life Series debut last week, shooting rounds of 79-81 to miss the cut. He’s looked like a different player through the first two rounds, turning in a pair of 1-under 70s to easily make the cut. He’s tied for 39th.
• Last week on the Heathlands Course, there were only nine players who had posted consecutive under-par rounds through 36 holes, and of that group only three-Andrew J. Funk, Brendan Leonard and amateur Garrett Rank managed two rounds in the 60s. This week there are 35 players with back-to-back under-par rounds to begin this tournament and 25 of them have shot two sub-70 scores.
• The par-3 12th hole was the most difficult on day two at TPC Toronto. There were only 10 birdies against 31 bogeys and six “others.” The first hole was the easiest. It yielded six eagles, 41 birdies and only six bogeys.
• There were 343 birdies and 10 eagles Wednesday, with $1,915 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 Caledon will go to Start2Finish, an organization that provides ongoing educational support to Canada’s at-risk children throughout their school years, nurturing mind, body and social health so they are empowered to graduate and succeed.
Canada Life Birdies for Kids
First Round this Week
Second Round this Week
Canada Life Bonus
“I’m just seeing that I can play with everybody out there. It’s big for my confidence, and I know what I can do.” –Laurent Desmarchais
"It was playing a little tougher. The pins were tricky, actually. Some were on big tough slopes, and it was tough to get the right distance. I think the course set-up was a little tougher today and the wind picked up a bit.” –Joey Savoie
“For me I’m just making sure I’m proficient in most areas for the highest levels. I’m still not there yet but working towards it and getting closer.” –Blair Bursey
“I’ve intentionally not looked at what the benefits are. I know that the top guy after four events gets into the RBC Canadian Open. I find for me once I start thinking about all that stuff it just leads to extra thoughts. All that matters for me [are] the things I can control, which is my attitude.” –Blair Bursey
Second-Round Weather: Overcast and cool. High of 16. Wind NNW at 15-17 kph.