Vernon’s Jaden Steinke tees off on the sixth hole at Duncan Meadows on the first day of play at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship on Monday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Vernon’s Jaden Steinke tees off on the sixth hole at Duncan Meadows on the first day of play at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship on Monday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Canadian Men’s Amateur underway at Duncan Meadows

Defending champ jumps into lead on day one

Defending champion Zach Bauchou led the way through round one at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship hosted by Duncan Meadows and Pheasant Glen golf courses on Monday.

Bauchou, of Forest, Virginia, shot a six-under 65 at Duncan Meadows, two strokes better than the five golfers who tied for second, a group that included Kaleb Gorbahn of Smithers (Smithers Golf & Country Club), Andrew Harrison of Camrose, Alta., Julien Sale of Gatineau, Que., Joey Savoie of Montreal, and Olivier Ménard of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que. Four more golfers tied for seventh spot at three strokes back.

“I was making some nice putts and hitting my irons really well,” Bauchou told Golf Canada “My round kind of fizzled off at the end — I missed a short putt and stopped making some putts. But 65 is still a solid round and it’s a good start.”

He was looking forward to the second day at Pheasant Glen.

“I really felt like the last eight holes I could have played a lot better, so I need to touch up on some things this afternoon and come out strong tomorrow,” said the 22-year-old Oklahoma State junior. “I’m going to hit a lot of drivers out there [Pheasant Glen], you just need to hit some good wedges and make some putts.”

All of the golfers in the top 10 were in the half of the field that started Monday at Duncan Meadows. Three from the Duncan Meadows group and four who started the day at Pheasant Glen tied for 11th, two strokes back. The top golfers from Pheasant Glen included Mill Bay’s Tristan Mandur (Arbutus Ridge), Chia-I Lai of Taipei, Taiwan, Fred Allen Meyer of Nicholasville, Kentucky, and Shaun Dunphy of Saskatoon.

The golfers who started at Duncan Meadows on Monday moved to Pheasant Glen for Tuesday, and vice-versa. The top 70 (plus ties) from the first two rounds will make the cut for rounds three and four at Duncan Meadows on Wednesday and Thursday.

Other golfers of interest locally include Todd Bissenden (Chemainus/Duncan Meadows), tied for 36th at six strokes back, Brent Wilson of (Cobble Hill/Gorge Vale), tied for 97th at nine back, Dallas Jones (Ladysmith/Mount Brenton) tied for 135th at 11 back, and Darien Pridham (Crofton/Mount Brenton) tied for 219th at 17 back.

Wilson earned his way into the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship by tying for third at the qualifier at Duncan Meadows last Friday. The top five finishers at the qualifier were given spots in the championship. Duncan’s Aaron Keller (Cowichan Golf & Country Club) also competed in the qualifier, but finished outside of the top five.