Nick Kenney, head teaching professional at the National Golf Club of Canada, managed to get around Lookout Point Country Club with a three under 69 to take a one-stroke lead into Thursday’s final round of the PGA Head Professional Championship of Canada.
Two players, Ed Maunder and Dean North, are close behind after each fired a two-under 70. Five players are two strokes back at one under.
While heavy rain and standing water on most holes led to the cancellation of what was supposed to be the first round on Tuesday, the golf course bounced back on Wednesday for what is now a 36-hole championship being played this year on Canadian soil for the first time since 2003.
“The National Golf Club closed in early October, which gave me the chance to play a lot of golf lately with some members and some kids I work with,” said Kenney, who played NCAA Division I golf at Old Dominion University prior to turning professional in 2007.
“Before the past few weeks, with two young ones at home and the demand for lessons, I wasn’t playing at all. It was a blessing in disguise that we shut down since I was able to get a nice feel and get used to shooting some good scores,” he said.
Kenney birdied his first hole of the day and made two more on his front nine to make the turn at two under par early in the day. Despite “leaking oil” on the back nine, he managed to pull it together late, making birdie on each of his final three holes.
“I was just trying to end up under par, I made a 30-footer on 16 and 25-footer on 17, and then on the last hole, I had 20 feet for eagle and just missed it,” said Kenney. “You’re grinding all day and then all of a sudden it was like ‘ Oh geez, that was nice.’”
Kenney mentioned that after doing some course research, he was able to avoid most of the penalizing areas at Lookout Point (which there are plenty), to help get him into the house with the lead.
The Ontario InterZone Team, which includes Ed Maunder, Gord Burns, Danny King and James Skrypec, lead the InterZone championship after finishing the day at even par, while Dean North was the low club professional on Wednesday.
Final round tee times begin at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, with players teeing off the first and 10th tees.
The leaderboards are here.