Four stacked up atop leaderboard in Washington
June 09, 2021
By Staff, FORMETOUR.COM
- June 09, 2021
- Jared du Toit birdied three of the last four holes Wednesday to move into the tie for the lead. (File Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
DUPONT, Washington—After 36 holes, four players share the lead at the final Forme Tour Qualifying Tournament of 2021, with the eventual winner earning exempt status for the entire inaugural season of the new circuit. Canadians Callum Davison and Jared du Toit join Americans Eric Lilleboe and Mike Chanaud at 7-under. The quartet holds a one-shot lead over South Africa’s Albert Pistorius, with American Sarosh Adi alone in sixth—two back.
Of the four leaders, only Chanaud shot in the 70s Wednesday—a 2-under 70—while du Toit had the low round of the day (and a share of the tournament-low), a 5-under 67, with Lilleboe and Davison each fashioning 3-under 69s. Oddly enough, it was Chanaud who looked like he would be the one to to go extremely low, getting to 4-under through seven holes before tapering off.
He had a wild, six-hole ride that began at No. 6, where he made the first of back-to-back birdies. After a par-5 at the eighth, where he missed a 15-footer for birdie, the Towson State graduate bogeyed the final hole of the front nine when he hit his second shot in the bunker and couldn’t get up and down. A bogey at 10 and a lost tee ball at No. 11 that led to a double bogey dropped him back to even-par after his blazing-hot start.
“It was a little downwind on 11, so I took driver out. I hit it left, and we never found the ball. I didn’t hit a provisional, either, so that was a rollercoaster. I walked all the way (back to the tee) with a 5-iron and ended up making double,” Chanaud said.Michael Chanaud entered this second day holding a one-shot lead at The Home Course. (Media/PGA TOUR)
He three-putted the par-3 14th for his final bogey of the day but reeled off a birdie-birdie-par-birdie finish for his 2-under outing. Chanaud had a three-inch birdie putt on No. 15, a tap-in birdie on the par-5 16th and finished his day with a flourishing, canning a 30-foot birdie on the 18th.
Tuesday, du Toit signed for his 2-under 70 but was frustrated. “I just really felt like I played a lot better than 70. Today was very similar. I played the same but really tried to keep the card clean and avoid mistakes. I did a good job of that,” du Toit said.
The Calgary native and 2017 Arizona State graduate made six birdies and a bogey Wednesday, three of his birdies coming at the end of his round, at Nos. 15, 16 and 17.
For the first two days, Davison has been battling a shaky driver. He had the same number of birdies as bogeys Wednesday (three), the difference coming at the par-5 eighth, where he hit his 3-wood approach to seven feet and made the eagle putt. “That green’s a bowl. You have to get it on there and see where [the ball] goes,” he said.
Lilleboe, Davison and Pistorius are the only players to post consecutive sub-70 rounds to start the tournament. Despite bogeys at No. 1 in each of the first two days, Lilleboe has offset those blemishes with 12 birdies.
“I’m right there. I’m liking the way I’m playing. You have to hit your irons well out here, and I’ve been placing my irons well on the greens, going at the pins I should be going at,” Lilleboe explained. “I’m happy with how I’m hitting the golf ball and how I’m managing my game.”Eric Lilleboe is one of only three players to post consecutive sub-70 rounds this week. (Media/PGA TOUR)
Wednesday’s third round features du Toit, Davison and Chanaud playing in the final grouping, teeing off at 9:25 a.m., while Lilleboe will group with Pistorius and Adi in the second-to-last group, that tee time at 9:15.
Did you know Eric Lilleboe, a Michigan native, won his home state open in 2019? He captured the 102nd playing of the Michigan Open at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City. Lilleboe, who played collegiately at Ferris State, fired a three-round total of 13-under to defeat Thomas Hursey by five shots in the rain-shortened tournament.
How the Tournament Works
Sixty-two players entered this tournament. Below is a breakdown of the various Forme Tour membership statuses available this week.
This is a 72-hole, no-cut event. There will be playoffs, if necessary, for the medalist position and for the fifth and final position available.
Players in this week’s field come from six countries (Canada, India, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden and the United States).
Callum Davison chipped in for birdie on No. 13 after missing the green on the par-4. He said he had no thoughts of making the shot. “I was just trying to get it close. That was a bonus,” he said of the make.
Last summer, Callum Davison played in all four Canada Life Series events held for Canada-based players once the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Mackenzie Tour season. Davison, 20, who turned pro in 2018, acquitted himself well in those tournaments. After missing the cut in the first event, he reeled off a tie for sixth, a tie for second and a solo-second performance to finish fifth on the Points List.Davison had four birdies and an eagle Wednesday for a second-round 69. (Media/PGA TOUR)
Canada’s Chris Crisologo put himself in contention with a 4-under 68 Wednesday after he opened with a 1-over 73. Chrisologo is tied for 10th, with two others, at 3-under.
American Sarosh Adi, a former Texas Christian golfer, has never been able to break through at either the Mackenzie Tour or PGA TOUR Latinoamerica Qualifying Tournaments, where he has multiple starts. Through 36 holes this week, Adi is in solid position to make a run at a card over the final two rounds. Adi followed his opening 71 with a 4-under 68, and he’s alone in sixth. After a par-bogey start, Adi made 11 pars and five birdies the rest of the way Wednesday.
Jared du Toit had a decision to make this week. He was exempt into the field at PGA TOUR Latinoamerica’s Club at Weston Hills Open in Florida. Instead of traveling to the Sunshine State, he made his way here to The Home Course, hoping to secure a place to play this summer. “I wasn’t high enough on the [points] list to warrant giving up the summer, basically. The way I looked at it is I wanted to give myself another playing option,” du Toit said. Following this tournament, he will travel to Bucamaranga, Colombia, and then Quito, Ecuador, for the next two PGA TOUR Latinoamerica tournaments.
Blair Hamilton and Ian Kim both had challenging second rounds after hovering near the top of the leaderboard through 18 holes. Hamilton followed his 68 with a second-round 78 to drop into a tie for 28th. Kim opened with a 4-under 68 and was seven shots worse Wednesday. Overall, he's at 1-under and tied for 14th.
On the par-3 14th, Eric Lilleboe thought for a moment that he had made a hole-in-one. “I wanted [the ball] to go a little and it did. It landed, we watched it cross the hole and we thought it was in. It ended up being about six inches away.” The consolation was an easy birdie.
The biggest improvement from the first round to the second belonged to Canadian Matthew Kreutz. On Wednesday, he shaved six strokes off his opening-round 76 to move up 19 spots on the leaderboard, into a tie for 28th.
There were 21 under-par scores in the opening round, with 29 at par or better. Wednesday, there were 19 under-par rounds, nine of them in the 60s.
The toughest hole in the second round was the par-3 14th. It yielded seven birdies, 19 bogeys and four double bogeys for a stroke average of 3.323. Nos. 9 and 12 gave up the fewest birdies in the second round, four each. The easiest hole was the par-5 16th, with a field stroke average of 4.645. Twenty-five players made birdie there Wednesday.
“The way I’ve been playing I don’t really feel like I’m on the pedal. I just continue to hit some decent iron shots, and I’m hitting some wedges well. I could play a little more defensive because I’m hitting the wedges well.” –Mike Chanaud
“I had a weird lie in the rough, and I didn’t feel comfortable trying to hit 3-wood up there.” ––Mike Chanaud on his decision to lay up with his second shot on the par-5 eighth, where he made par
“I just hit a bad shot in the bunker. I hit a pretty good bunker shot. I just didn’t make the putt.” –Mike Chanaud on his first bogey of his round, at No. 9
“I said [Tuesday] I was going to continue to hit driver. Now today, I’m going to hit driver on the holes I can, but not on 11. I’ll continue to lay up if I can’t fly it to the green.” –Mike Chanaud
“I’m happy with my game and happy with the steps I’ve made. The goal is to get through here, and I’m halfway there.” –Eric Lilleboe
“Especially if the putts start dropping the next two days, I’ll be good to go. I’ve been rolling the ball well all week.” –Eric Lilleboe
“I think the greens were a little slower today than [Tuesday], just a little bit.” –Eric Lilleboe
“I really didn’t make any birdie putts today. Three of them were kick-ins on the par-5s.” –Eric Lilleboe
“I send swing videos to my swing instructor. I did it [Tuesday] night, and I’ll do it again. I’m a little closer to where I want to be. It’s going right. But at least I know it’s going right, so it’s a one-way miss.” –Callum Davison on his struggles off the tee
“There are a lot of attempts to make birdie out there. All the par-5s are gettable. A lot of par-4s you have a lot of wedges in, especially at the start of the round.” –Callum Davison assessing The Home Course
“It’s one of those things where you always want to be in offensive mode. But we had three-four holes with less-than-ideal wind it felt like. You want to stay aggressive, but, OK, let’s hit the green and two-putt.” –Jared du Toit on the changing wind and weather during Wednesday’s second round
Partly cloudy and warmer, with a high of 66. Wind WSW at 3-6 mph.