Kelowna native Cooper Humphreys finds himself in the mix after 18 holes of the GolfBC Championship at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf and Country Club.
The 16-year-old Predator Ridge fancier in Vernon landed a less than 69 to two in the opening round of the Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada on Wednesday.
Humphreys made a splash two years ago when, after just 14, he dissected the bottom nine for five birdies in the second round of the 2019 Mackenzie Tour event.
He missed the cut despite shooting 30 of the return nine, but meant he was someone to watch for years to come.
Humphreys, the top amateur in the field, finished the round with four birdies and a pair of bogeys, leaving him four strokes behind first round leader Etienne Brault of Montreal.
Brault, 25, got a six-under-65 without a bogey in the first round.
He holds a one-stroke lead over a trio of golfers, Will Barnett of Australia, Yi Cao of China and Sang Lee of Calgary.
Lee was the only one of the four pointers to play during the afternoon flight.
He was a pedestrian on his first nine holes before catching fire from the front, his second nine of the day.
Lee birdied one, two, four and six to finish with a 66 without a bogey.
Barnett contested with a searing 29 of the last nine after opening the tournament to three after just five holes.
Humphreys is not the only fan to make noise in the first round.
Jeevan Sihota, 17, of Victoria, shot a par 71.
The second round will start at 7.15 am Thursday morning.
Canadian pro Etienne Brault takes first place in the opening round of the GolfBC Championship at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf and Country Club.
The 25-year-old Montreal native shot a six-under-65 first round on a cool, overcast morning in East Kelowna.
Brault started his day on the back nine, making the three-under turn. After back-to-back pars on the first four holes on the front end, Brault found his putt, birdies on three of the next four holes before finishing with a par on the ninth par-five.
He holds a one-shot clubhouse lead over Will Barnett of Australia and Yi Cao of China, both under 66.
Barnett, who tied for third at last week’s ATB Financial Classic in Calgary, had a slow start to his first round.
He was on three after starting with a double bogey on one and a bogey in five before settling in to end the day with six birdies and an eagle at number 12.
Cao shot seven birdies and two bogeys en route to his 66.
Twenty golfers from Kelowna and nearly 70 from British Columbia are among the 141 golfers playing this week at Gallagher’s Canyon.
In accordance with provincial health mandates, fans will be allowed to attend this week’s event with full proof of vaccination.
Courtesy of Castanet, admission is free for the four days.
The GolfBC Championship ends on Saturday afternoon.