(GARSON, ON) – Despite a weather delay of over three hours and a suspension of play due to darkness Owen Bates of Mississauga sits atop the first round leaderboard at the 92nd playing of the Investors Group Ontario Junior Boys’ Championship hosted by Timberwolf Golf Club just outside Sudbury.
The delay and persistent rain throughout the majority of his round on Tuesday didn’t deter the 18-year-old from turning out a solid performance and gaining a one-stroke advantage over the talented field of Ontario’s best junior golfers. The Credit Valley Golf & Country Club member marked two birdies and two bogeys in his first 9 holes and two more birdies and a single bogey on the back nine to close out his first round with a 71 (-1).
Three golfers sit a stroke off the lead and in a tie for second at even par (72) including Sam Meek of Peterborough. The 15-year-old Kawartha Golf & Country Club got off to a great start with a pair of birdies on the front nine to make the turn at two under but he played the back at two over to finish with an even par 72.
John Boncoddo, a member of Brantford Golf & Country Club put together a solid opening round of 72 (E) segmented by the weather delay. The 18-year-old Boncoddo finally got things going on the back nine with three birdies to climb up the leaderboard into the second place tie.
Spencer Dobbs of Whitby rounds out the trio tied for second. The 2014 Junior Boys Match Play runner-up also got off to a great start with three birdies and a single bogey through the first nine holes. However, the Cherry Downs member carded a pair of bogeys on the back nine to slip back to even par and a stroke off the lead heading into round two.
Windsor’s Brandon Mihalo shot a 74 to tie with six other golfers at +2 in ninth place.
The first round featured a three hour rain delay on Tuesday which forced the round to be suspended due to darkness at 9:10 pm on Tuesday evening. Those competitors unable to complete their first round Tuesday returned on Wednesday morning for a 7:00 am restart and the first round was in the books just before 9:00 am.
The second round got under way at 8:30 am on Wednesday and tee times will run through 3:30 pm. At the conclusion of second round, the field will be cut to the low 60 and ties who will compete in the final two rounds, with the 2014 champion being crowned on Friday afternoon.