“The Road to the PGA TOUR DOES Start Here”
It’s an event that feels like it’s as much of a thoroughbred race like the Kentucky Derby or the Prince of Wales Stakes as it does a professional golf event. It’s the Fortinet Cup Championship and it is the “TOUR Championship” of PGA TOUR Canada.
The Top 60 players from PGA TOUR Canada, minus a withdrawal or two, have descended on Kitchener, Ontario this week where they visit Deer Ridge Golf Club. The golf course designed by renowned Canadian golf architect Thomas McBroom will be playing host to the Fortinet Cup Championship. Playing as a Par 70 golf course, the players have excellent conditions to play in this week as they navigate their way around the 7,172 yard gem.
Coming into this week, it wasn’t too hard to look at favourites like Southern Methodist University Mustang alum Noah Goodwin (Corinth, Texas), Jake Knapp who is a former UCLA Bruin from Costa Mesa, California who just also happens to be the overall Fortinet Cup points leader coming into this championship and the leading Canadian Wil Bateman from Edmonton, Alberta. The latter being an alum of the San Diego State University Aztecs.
While the trio of Knapp, Bateman, and Goodwin had tough rounds when compared to the rest of their respective seasons and points ranking we saw Jacob Solomon who went out early to gran the early clubhouse lead at -3. The Auburn Tiger alum took advantage of cool but relatively still condition throughout the morning.
But the first round belonged to Trent Phillips. The former University of Georgia Bulldog fired an impressive -5 (65) despite feeling under the weather and not having the opportunity to prepare for the tournament like he normally would. His first look at Deer Ridge Golf Club took place during Wednesday’s Pro-Am. Sitting behind Phillips are three players at -4. Scott Stevens, Thomas Walsh, and Joey Vrzich all trail by one stroke.
The 2022 Fortinet Cup Championship feature nine Canadians. Joey Savoie and Etienne Papineau led all Canadians as they both sit tied for 15th at -1. Other Canadians in the field were the aforementioned Wil Bateman, Myles Creighton, Chris R. Wilson, Jared du Toit, Sudarshan Yellamaraju, Brendan MacDougall, and Chris Crisologo,