While Yohann Benson may have left a few strokes out there on his opening nine holes at the Winston Golf Club, the same certainly couldn’t be said for his closing nine.
After beginning his day shooting 37 on his front nine, he made five birdies in a row from holes 12 to 16 and added two more along the way to fire 29 and sign for a six-under 66 to lead the PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada.
Benson has a one-shot lead over Wes Heffernan and Kevin Stinson heading into Tuesday’s second round.
“I got it going on the back, especially with the putter,” said Benson, who was the runner up to Heffernan in 2019. “It was a combination of hitting it close and making a couple 20-footers, but 29 on the back, that’s a very good finish.”
Earlier this season, Benson found himself in contention at the BetRegal PGA Championship of Canada after a second-round 64, but an even par 72 in the third round set him back and paved the way for Riley Fleming’s victory.
“Before Bromont, I took a lot of time off and went to the United States to visit my son. I hadn’t touched a club in a month and I came back to play the Mackenzie Tour event and I was very rusty,” said the PGA of Quebec apprentice professional.
“After the PGA Championship, I was trending in the right direction, and then I played the Canada Cup and finished third. Since then, I’ve been teaching quite a bit, but got to play quite a bit of golf the past few weeks, so I come in with some sort of form and so far, so good,” he said.
In addition to the individual competition, the InterZone Championship will also be decided this week, with a champion being crowed Tuesday. Thanks in part to Heffernan’s performance, the PGA of Alberta has a two-stroke lead over the PGA of Ontario.
The second round of the PGA Assistant’s Championship of Canada will begin at 8:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday and the field will be cut to the low 60 players and ties at the end of the day.
The leaderboards are here.