The only thing hotter than Saturday’s weather was Garrett Scott’s putter.
“I hit a lot of good putts today,” said Scott, who carded a 3-under 69 (34-35) to grab the first-round lead in the 54-hole CHCA TV Central Alberta Amateur at the Red Deer Golf and Country Club. “I always rely on my putter pretty heavily.”
Scott’s score included five birdies, but it was a 15-foot par putt on the fifth hole that ignited his hot round.
“That putt made me feel pretty good. I had only made a couple of birdies to that point, then I caught a bit of fire on the way in,” he said.
The field of 192 battled big-time heat all day, with the final groups clearing the course just prior to a violent wind/rain storm.
Scott wasn’t complaining about the high temperatures.
“Other than a little breeze, the weather was perfect,” he insisted. “I prefer playing in the heat.”
The former University of Alberta student and golf team member was impressed by the condition of the RDG&CC track.
“They did a good job of getting the course ready,” said Scott, who operates a Subaru dealership in Red Deer. “I’m a member here but I haven’t played in a couple of weeks, and in fact this is the first tournament I’ve played all year.
“The grounds keepers were able to get the rough to a good, fair length, to the point where it’s penalizing if you hit into it, and the greens were better than I thought they would be. Overall, things worked out well for me today.”
Scott takes a narrow lead into today’s second round, with Dan Soley (37-33) and first-flight competitor Ron Harder (35-35) each just one shot back after signing for a 70. Harry Aime (35-37), Jordan Krulicki (36-36), Kolby Kneil (35-37), Matt Steinbach (35-37) and Brian Laubman (37-35) all shot 72, while rounding out the top 10 in the championship flight were J.D. Morrical (35-38—73), Pete Duncan (36-38—74), Chad Cargill (34-40—74) and Joey Sereda (35-39—74).
Defending champion Kyle Morrison checked in with a 4-over 76 (39-37) and Alberta amateur champ Mitch Evanecz turned in a score of 75 (39-36).
The Central Alberta Amateur concludes Monday, with the final group heading out at 2 p.m.
Following are the top three and ties from the first to 10th flights:
First — Ron Harder (35-35—70); Ken Evanecz (38-38—76); Mike Kooman (39-41—80); Neil Robertson (40-40—80).
Second — Del Billings (35-38—73); Dave Youngs (36-39—75); P.J. Aucoin (39-37—76).
Third — Mike Phelps (39-40—79); John Ringrose (37-42—79); Rich Roberts (39-40—79).
Fourth — Gerald Tardif (38-40—78); John Young (37-41—78); Russ Hall (38-41—79).
Fifth — Keegan McLevin (42-37—79); Brent Foord (37-42—79); Brad Romans (39-42—81); Dave Brunton (38-43—81); Gary James (39-42—81).
Sixth — John Hull (38-40—78); Jordan Hedlund (38-43—81); Bill Hull (40-41—81).
Seventh — Tom Williamson (42-44—86); Barry Brown (42-45—87); Wayne Yanz (45-43—88).
Eighth — Blaine Cust (45-41—86); Darrell Spencer (42-45—87); Bob Thompson (42-45—87); Tim Wiltzen (41-46—87).
Ninth — Lawrence Sidebottom (41-44—85); Bob Rogan (43-43—86); Joe Pobihushchy (47-45—92).
10th — Barry Wenger (43-44—87); George Campbell (44-46—90); Lorne Zaparniuk (45-45—90).