2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship: Day 1Posted on September 23, 2016
Scott McCarron shoots 62 for a new course record!
If Day 1 of the 2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship started out being all about #ThePower3 – with Bernhard Langer, Vijay Singh and Miguel Angel Jimenez teeing off at 12:55 pm in quite the legendary matchup – it finished up being Scott McCarron’s party. Shooting a 9 under 62, McCarron not only finished top of the leaderboard for Day 1, but set a new course record for the Bear Mountain Resort – Mountain Course.
The day started out “soggy” as one of the nonetheless excited crowd put it, but skies steadily brightened and the sun made an appearance just in time to match the hot scores coming in on the home stretch. None being hotter than McCarron’s, who birdied five of the first six holes, including all four of the par-5s on the Mountain Course – Nos. 1, 12, 13 and 18. Of his day, which ended with a total of nine birdies, McCarron had this to say: “This is my new favourite golf course – I just love the layout. It’s really one of the prettiest golf courses I’ve played in my life, I’ll come back here on vacation, it’s that good. (Bear Mountain) is a special place.” (With a score like that we can’t say we blame him for wanting to come back.)
Two shots behind by end of play, Doug Garwood and Jerry Smith tied for second at 64, with Garwood playing the back nine in 6-under 30. Smith finished his day with an enviable eight birdies and a bogey. Woody Austin and Jeff Sluman shot 65, and Olin Browne and Wes Short Jr. followed at 66. As Bob Friend, who shot a 74 for his Day 1, put it: “The scores are mind numbingly low. Truth: these guys are good.” These guys really are good.
Speaking of good, in terms of the big names and the so-called Power Players, Hall of Famers Vijay Singh and Colin Montgomerie shot 67 for the day; England’s Paul Broadhurst, the winner last week at Pebble Beach, had a 69, and Bernhard Langer opened with a 70.
Rod Spittle topped the four Canadians in the field with a 72, while hometown hero Jim Rutledge (who hails from Victoria, BC) shot 73, followed by Stephen Ames with a 74, and BC’s own Murray Poje, who qualified on Tuesday, who shot an 82.
McCarron’s record-breaking finish wasn’t the only highlight of the day though. The roar on No. 10 after Vijay Singh made par could be heard all the way in Victoria. After dropping his first shot in the water, he made up for it by holing out his drop. (Watch the moment here.) No need to visit the green. Par made. And the crowd, as mentioned, roared.
Another made-for-Golf-TV moment had to be when Joe Daley managed to birdie No. 18 – out of the bunker no less. Even he couldn’t believe it. You can watch that moment here.
It was undoubtedly a great first day at the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship 2016 and we cannot wait to see what Day 2 will bring. The first players tee off at 8:25 am on Saturday September 24th, with the last round, including current leader Scott McCarron, teeing off at 1:11 pm. Tickets will remain on sale at the Spectators Plaza. And if you can’t make it to Bear Mountain for the action, you can watch it live on the Golf Channel every day until 6pm Pacific.
You can also follow all the action as we continue to post live from the event all weekend long. Follow us:
Tournament Fast Facts
16 – Number of players with a PGA TOUR Champions major victory
13 – Number of players with a PGA TOUR major victory
11 – Number of 2016 Champions Tour winners in the field
197 – Tournament Record set by Paul Goydos in 2014
$2,500,000 – Total purse for the event
$375,000 – Winner’s take home
294 – Total number of PGA Tour victories that 54 of the 81 players competing have earned
45 – Number of Champions Tour winners in the field
201 – Total career Champions Tour victories among the field
4 – Number of Canadians in the field (Jim Rutledge, Stephen Ames, Murray Poje, Rod Spittle)
7 – Number of players in this week field to have won the RBC Canadian Open (Mark Calcavecchia, Vijay Singh, Scott Verplank, Mark O’Meara, David Frost, John Cook, Bob Gilder)
5 – World Golf Hall of Fame inductees competing this week (Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh)
145,000,000 – Number of households worldwide that the tournament will be broadcast to
206 – Number of countries around the world that tournament will be broadcast to
2014 – Pacific Links Hawaii Championship 2014 winner Paul Goydos, technically the defending champion.