About the only thing that many of the top seeds will dislike more than the results from a bizarre first round at the PGA Championship of Canada will be the updated Canadian PGA rankings when they come out the middle of next week.
Going into Wednesday’s action, there was plenty of talk about how anything can happen in match play.
Top seed Bryn Parry said it here and Jeff Chambers, the guy who seemed destined to be a first round casualty against Parry, alluded to that point here. Witty and wise GNN blogger Kyle German also touched on that point here.
All three of the above were affected by the malevolence, magic and mystery of match play, with only Chambers, ranked 115th in the nation and 64th in the tournament, advancing to Thursday’s second round at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club.
Give Chambers credit too. He struggled at the beginning, but got it to 3 up against Parry, who illustrated why he was the top seed in the tournament by battling back to all square at the 15th. Staying cool against the top dog, Chambers managed to eke out the victory.
Besides serving as head professional at Elmwood Golf and Country Club in Swift Current, Sask., Chambers is heavily involved in junior golf and was named the 2010 recipient of the Jack McLaughlin Junior Leader of the Year Award.
He hasn’t played much competitive golf lately and wasn’t even expecting to be at Cottonwood, but jumped at the chance when he got the call from the Canadian PGA.
German, a former Canadian Club Professional champion who was seeded seventh, lost to another Saskatchewan player in 58th seed Pat Marcia, but he wasn’t alone as other top seeds such as Ontario’s Ken Tarling (fourth seed), Manitoba’s Dean North (fifth) and B.C.’s Phil Jonas (15th) went down.
Meanwhile, Ontario’s Danny King, another former Club Professional Champion, and the No. 3 seed needed extra holes in order to advance.
While upsets were expected in this match play event, the general feeling was that they would take place as the tournament progressed beyond the first round, but yesterday’s results emphasized that the guys at the top of the ladder can’t afford to look down upon the guys on the bottom rung.
This was only a shock to people who had never seen Jeff play golf before. It was going to be a tough match for Jeff Chambers and everyone knew that but having watched Jeff’s game for many years I knew he would still give Bryn a great match. Winning is a big deal but I had faith that Jeff has the game to compete with anyone, as I’m sure anyone in this tournament can. Match Play is a hard game because every hole is a different match and Jeff played better than Bryn today. Well done to Jeff a victory he deserves. Now to just watch and cheer for him to move on.