Hide’s game a surprise

Roy Hide went into the opening day of the 36-hole PGA of Alberta championship at River Bend Golf Course Monday with one goal in mind — shoot under par.

Scott Anderson of the River Bend Golf Club tees off on the 11th hole at Riverbend during the PGA of Alberta Championship on Monday.

Scott Anderson of the River Bend Golf Club tees off on the 11th hole at Riverbend during the PGA of Alberta Championship on Monday.

Roy Hide went into the opening day of the 36-hole PGA of Alberta championship at River Bend Golf Course Monday with one goal in mind — shoot under par.

The 32-year-old Red Deer Golf and Country Club assistant pro not only reached his goal, but accomplished more than he expected.

Hide eagled the par-five final hole, which is normally the ninth hole, to finish at four-under 68 and in a tie for second, one stroke back of Scott Allred of Calgary’s Elbow Springs.

“I was a little surprised,” said Hide.

“I wanted to finish under par, and I felt good heading home two-under. When I eagled the final hole that made it even better.”

Hide was on the fringe in two and chipped in for the eagle.

“All I was trying to do was get close for the birdie,” he said with a laugh.

Hide had an outstanding day driving the ball, which was a key, he said.

“The rough is tough, so you have to think hitting the fairways and I was able to hit a lot of them today. I also putted fairly well. I made a lot of four-six footers for par.”

Hide, who is in his 15th year at the RDGCC, was also fortunate Monday as he played the majority of his round in calm conditions.

“The wind picked up over the last five or six holes,” he said. “But overall it was good and the greens were excellent.”

Monday was only the second time Hide has played the layout this year, but the course is no stranger to him as he played in the PGA event last year, shooting 73-76.

Hide came into the tournament playing as well as he has for some time.

“I’ve been able to get in 17 or 18 rounds this year, and about three weeks ago I was in the playoffs in one of our (PGA) one-day events. I’m definitely hitting the ball better than last year, so I did go in expecting to be under par. I just didn’t know by how much.”

He expects to be under par today as well.

“If it happens and I win, great, but I’ll be happy to just be under.”

Allred shot 34-33 while Hide was 35-33 and Troy Prusky of Lakeside in Eaglesham, who is tied with Hide, had a 36-32.

Eight are tied for fourth at two-under 70, including defending champion Chris Toth of Edmonton Riverside.

Others are Tyler LeBouthillier of Elbow Springs, Mike Belbin of Edmonton Royal Mayfair, Brett Burgeson of Calgary Country Hills, Mark Corrigan of Calgary Pinebrook, Blair Buttar of Edmonton Glendale, Darrell McDonald of Mill Woods and Matt Yeo of Goose Hummock of Gibbons.

Seven others are tied at 71, including River Bend head pro Todd Fiske and Jeff Cuthbertson and Ryan Doucette of Cougar Creek in Sundre.

Jamie Gerlitz of Lacombe came in with a 73 while Marty Wheaton of the RDGCC shot a 74 and Kevin Snell of Red Deer and Scott Anderson of River Bend a 75.

Kevin Broderson of Lacombe had a 76 with River Bend’s Troy Gibb and Scott Bergdahl of Lakewood at 78 and Shaun Luopa of the RDGCC at 79.

Greg Risler of Pheasantback in Stettler came in with an 80 along with David Drake of Rocky Mountain House’s Pine Hills and Wade Bearchell of Olds.

Wayne Dick of Innisfail had an 83 and David Clark of Lacombe an 85.

l There’s $41,200 in prize money up for grabs . . . The final threesome tee off today at 12:30 p.m.

drode@bprda.wpengine.com