Menard seizes control in Saskatchewan

Sep 18, 2021

 

WASKESIU LAKE, Saskatchewan—Raoul Menard was nearly flawless Friday, shooting a 5-under round of 65 to take a commanding lead after two rounds of the Elk Ridge Open. After recording his first bogey of the tournament on No. 3, his 12th hole of the day, the Angie-Gardien, Quebec, native responded making birdies on four of the next five holes. His 8-under total is good for a five-shot lead over Brendan Leonard.

“I wasn’t hitting it all that great up until that point,” said Menard. “After the bogey, I fixed something in my swing a little bit, got a better rhythm and then it just happened. I didn’t force anything, I just started hitting better shots and the putts dropped in. That was the difference.”

The last birdie of his round, on No. 8, his 17th hole, came via a long chip-in from the rough.

“I just had a pretty simple chip, but I still had to make pretty good contact on it,” said Menard. “I just rolled perfectly like a putt, so that’s all I could ask for.”

Leonard, of Cambridge, Ontario, shot an even-par round of 70 with two birdies on a cool, windy day at the Elk Ridge Resort.

“Extremely tough,” said Leonard, who won the season-opening Mackenzie Investments Open in Blainville, Quebec. “The course is super tight, and there’s probably a good 50-kilometer gust up there. You have to trust your yardage book and hope that it’s going the right way, but there’s some good gusts that can really move the golf ball up there.”

Three players are tied for third place, at 2-under, including Swift Current, Saskatchewan’s Brennan Rumancik. He matched Menard for low round of the day, with a 5-under, 60. His clean scorecard featured five birdies.

“Everything was working (Friday),” said Rumancik. “I’ve really been working the last little bit on a cut shot with my driver, and I think I hit every single fairway. That really helps out here not having to chip out and cost yourself strokes that way.”

Rumancik is joined in third place by Toronto’s Sebastian Szirmak and American Franklin Huang. Seven players are tied for sixth place, at 1-under.

Key Information

  • Saskatoon amateur Alex Swinnerton followed is opening-round 68 with a 9-over round of 79, but the 17-year-old high school student birdied his final hole of the day to finish at 7-over, and will play in Saturday’s final round.
  • Fifty-four players made the cut, at 8-over.
  • Raoul Menard and Sebastian Szirmak were the only two players to shoot consecutive rounds in the 60s.
  • American Samuel Anderson had the biggest improvement of the day, following a 7-over round of 77 with a 4-under 66—an 11-shot difference.
  • Yorkton, Saskatchewan’s Kade Johnson is one of seven players tied for sixth, at 1-under.
  • The top-five players on the final Points List will earn 2022 PGA TOUR Canada membership. First place on the Points List will receive fully exempt status for the 2022 PGA TOUR Canada season, while those in the second-through-fifth positions will earn exempt status up until the first reshuffle based on player performance.

Quotable

“I’m looking forward to the challenge on Saturday. I’m up for it, and I can’t wait to get back out there and make some birds.” –Brennan Rumancik

“It’s a really good test of golf. If you miss the fairway, you’re probably going to get in trouble.” –Raoul Menard on Elk Ridge Resort – Aspen/Birch

 “I’m just trying to play my golf, and I know that if I play well, I’ll be hard to beat.” –Raoul Menard on his five-shot lead heading into the final round

 “I came here to win. I have a lot of work to do on Saturday. I have to go out there, grind it out, try and catch up and just make as many birdies as possible.” –Brendan Leonard on being five shots down heading into the final round

 Second-Round Weather:

Cool, partly cloudy and windy. High of 17. Wind NW at 17 kph. Gusts in the afternoon reached 34 kph.

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