Carlson Cards Course-Record 60, Leads Highland Tourney

Carlson matches course record with 60, takes Canada Life Championship Lead

From the Mackenzie Tour PGA TOUR Canada:

LONDON, ONT — Brian Carlson made nine birdies in his opening 13 holes at Highland Country Club on Friday during the second round of the Canada Life Championship. He couldn’t help but think that 59 was in reach.

Making par on his next four holes, though, the 23-year old settled for a 60, knocking in a three-foot birdie putt on the final hole to match the course record, most recently shot by Robby Shelton at the 2017 edition of the event.

The score, which is Carlson’s lowest-career round (both competitively and recreationally), by two strokes, puts the Madison, Conn., native a head of Canadian Taylor Pendrith by one stroke heading into the third round.

Brian Carlson. Photo: Mackenzie Tour Twitter.

“As a pro golfer, you always want to have that one extra stroke in the round, so it was nice to finish with a birdie today,” said Carlson. “I missed my short putt on No. 17. I was thinking about 59, but I’m still happy with a birdie to finish.”

In his first season on the Mackenzie Tour, this is the second time Carlson moves into a weekend in contention, and the first since the Canada Life Open earlier this season, where he opened with a 63 to take the lead and eventually tied for second.

“It’s my first year, and it has been a learning process with lots of ups and downs,” said the Purdue University alum. “There have been a few bad weeks but also some good weeks, and it’s kind of cool to start the season and end the season strong.”

Currently in the 21st position on the Order of Merit, a win Sunday would allow Carlson to forgo the first two stages of Korn Ferry Tour Q-School. To do so, he says, he just needs to keep playing the game that has him 12-under par through two days.

“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing; being conservative off the tee, generally speaking, and attacking pins,” said Carlson. “The rough is kind of hairy around the greens, so it’s pretty important to stay on the right side of the hole.”

Pendrith, who has received cortisone shots throughout the week for his shoulder, backed up a first-round 66 with a 63, his fifth time firing that score or better in his past five events.

The Canada Life Canadian Player of the Year will be the last player on the course Saturday alongside Carlson at 12:30 p.m., while the first tee time is set for 8:02 a.m.

Key Information
•This is a limited-field event of 55 players, with no cut.
•Brian Carlson became the fourth player in Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada history to record a 60 at the par-70 Highland Country Club. Carlson joins Curtis Reed (2015), Vaita Guillaume (2016) and Robby Shelton (2017). Reed, Guillaume and Shelton all had their 60s in the final round.
•Here are all the players with 60s in Tour history:

Brian Carlson              2019 Canada Life Championship

Dru Love                     2019 HFX Pro-Am

Will Gordon                2019 Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open

Cody Blick                  2017 Bayview Place Cardtronics Open

Robby Shelton            2017 Canada Life Championship

Vaita Guillaume          2016 Canada Life Championship

Curtis Reed                 2015 Canada Life Championship

•This is the second time this season Brian Carlson has held a lead following a round. At the Canada Life Open, Carlson was the solo leader through 18 holes at a tournament where he eventually tied for second with James Allenby, two strokes behind winner Jake Knapp.
•In his first season playing on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada, Brian Carlson shot a first-round 63 at the Canada Life Open to establish his original career-low.
•Jeremy Paul jumped into contention Friday with his 9-under 61. He established a personal-best 18-hole score. His previous-best score was a 63, at the 2018 GolfBC Championship.
•Greyson Sigg not only had the low 18-hole round this season, he owns the low round in Mackenzie Tour history—along with Brady Schnell. Sigg shot 59 at the Golf BC Championship in June, while Schnell had his 59 at the 2014 ATB Financial Classic.
•After the first round, Eric McCardle, Yannik Paul and Travis Trace were tied for the lead. Through 36 holes, McCardle is tied for third after shooting a 4-under 66. He is 9-under overall. Paul is tied for seventh after shooting a 68, while Trace, with a second-round 69, is tied for 10th.
•The second-round leader has gone on to win four of 11 events in 2019. The last second-round leader to parlay a 36-hole lead into a title came last week when Taylor Pendrith won the Mackenzie Investments Open. Other second-round leaders who won are Jake Knapp (GolfBC Championship), Paul Barjon (Osprey Valley Open) and Lorens Chan (HFX Pro-Am).
•While former UCLA players Jake Knapp and Lorens Chan have captured a large share of the headlines this season with their top-five positions on the Order of Merit (Knapp is third and Chan is fourth), their teammate Jonathan Garrick moved into contention Friday with his 8-under 62. This season, Garrick was the runner-up at the GolfBC Championship and also tied for second at the Windsor Championship. While making seven of 11 cuts, those are his only top-10s. Garrick is 12th on the Order of Merit. Finishing inside the top-10 would allow the Chicago native to bypass the early stages of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament and move right to the final stage.

Quotable

“I hit it really good today. It’s weird in golf. [Thursday] I hit it really well, but I didn’t putt well and shot even-par. Today, I was able to capitalize on my chances, and I don’t think I holed a putt outside 20 feet, I just hit it really well and was able to capitalize.” – Jeremy Paul

“We don’t really have a rivalry, I’m really happy he played well yesterday. I was on No. 18 waiting for him and took a video of him making a 30-footer, which was awesome.” Jeremy Paul on his relationship with twin brother Yannik

“I didn’t try to force anything because the scores weren’t crazy low yesterday. I felt like if I played a decent round, I might still be in it, so it’s awesome that it turned out to be 9-under today. You can’t really control it, but I made a few putts and played well.” – Jeremy Paul

“I played pretty early, so most of the guys that played well [Thursday] hadn’t started when I made a run. I looked at the leaderboard at some point, but I knew there would be a few people catching me. I kept the gas down because I know you have to make a ton of birdies out there.” – Jeremy Paul

“You’re not getting much if you finish 30th. All I can do is move up, and with a bigger purse this week, if I play well there is still a chance to make a run. At the end of the day, it’s just golf and if it turns out to be in the top 25 or top 10, that would be awesome. If not, it’s still a good tournament and a good season.” – Jeremy Paul

“I’ve played well here in the past. My first time through I played well the first round, and last year I played well the whole event, so I took some confidence from that. Sixty-two is my lowest tournament round ever, actually.” – Jonathan Garrick

“My game has been feeling really good the past few events, but I’ve been getting nothing out of it. I’ve made almost no putts outside of 15 feet and haven’t been getting up and down to save momentum when I needed to. I chipped in on No. 15 today and made a long putt on No. 16 and 17 and then got up and down on 18. I got up and down when I needed to today and was able to make a couple shots I didn’t expect to go in.” – Jonathan Garrick

“Greyson (Sigg) is really easy to play with; a nice guy who plays pretty quick. I know he beat me by a few on the front, but it felt like we were both playing well and playing solid throughout the day.” – Jonathan Garrick

“I’m in a position where it’s the worst I’ve been on the Order of Merit since Kelowna, but that’s just the way the season goes. You slide down when other people win or come second, so I’ve just tried to play golf. If I try to think about it, it will make me play worse, so I just have to focus on what I can control.” – Jonathan Garrick

“I hit a lot more fairways today. My wedges were really good, and I had a lot of good looks and putted great. I missed a few, but you can’t make them all, and I made some nice ones mid-round to keep me going.” – Taylor Pendrith

“It was a little windier today and not as wet, but it was very similar, and the greens are super receptive so you can attack some pins. All of the scoreable holes were downwind, so that was definitely an advantage. On the par 5s, if you got a drive in play, it was easy to set yourself up for birdie.” – Taylor Pendrith

“I didn’t see any leaderboards. My caddie told me Brian (Carlson) shot 10-under walking up 18. That’s a great round and I think I’m one back, so this should be fun.” – Taylor Pendrith

“I got another injection this morning and they hit the right spot, so I was able to take the club back fine with no pain, which was nice, and I was hitting the ball a lot farther than I was [Thursday]. There is still a little bit of concern through the ball, and it’s definitely sore, but I’ll go take care of it now and hopefully there’s no pain tomorrow.” – Taylor Pendrith on the cortisone shots he received for his injured shoulder

“You can hit driver most holes if you want to. No. 17 was playing straight downwind, and I probably could have gotten it close today, but I hit 4-iron and wedge up there. I love this place; it’s not overly long but it’s an advantage to hit it long because you can take advantage of the par-5s and shorter par-4s.” – Taylor Pendrith

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