No fun at Glendale

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:01 AM ET

Having fun yet?

Not if you were at Glendale yesterday, where virtually everyone on the grounds would have rather been somewhere else.

Re-grouting the shower, cleaning the garage, de-worming the dog - anything indoors would have been a more pleasant option than the cold, ugly, wind-swept first round of the Alberta Amateur Golf Championship.

A nasty 7,000-yard track to begin with, Glendale turned downright vicious in relentless gusts that ballooned scores and broke spirits.

"I can't even explain how tough it is out there," said Kris Wasylowich, who scratched and clawed his way to a 74. "Honestly, it's as hard as I've ever played. It almost wasn't fun."

"There were about four or five times where you'd throw up some grass and it would blow one way, but you'd look at the flag and it's blowing the other way," said James Love, who battled to a 75. "With the par 3s you'd just hit and pray most of the time. It was brutal all day."

We're talking about a field of players who can all shoot in the 60s, players who hold course records all over Alberta, former city, provincial and Canadian champions, and they were getting wind burned left, right and centre.

'IT WAS HARD OUT THERE'

"Man it was hard out there," said defending champion Brian Laubman, after his "worst back nine in 20 years" left him nursing an 80.

"That was as hard a tournament set up as we've had since Innisfail (2002). They had a day that was just ridiculous. I shot a 79 and was one of only five guys to break 80.

"This was like that. A grind. If someone shoots under par today, they're looking good."

So how should we describe the 69 that Edmonton's Ryan Lecuyer put up? Three-under par at Glendale is very good on most days, but yesterday it was nothing short of sensational.

"It was pretty gross out there, but I was hitting it good all day," said the 20-year-old, who shot 33 on a back nine that was giving everyone else fits.

"I maybe missed two greens where the wind tricked me, but other than that I was hitting it solid and made a few putts, and chipped in for birdie on 18. But it was very difficult, to say the least."

ISN'T GOING TO LIE

He's not going to lie and say it was easy, not when only three players in a field of 130 shot par or better (Todd Halpen and Scott Desmarais of Calgary are tied for second at one-under 71), but Lecuyer says he never really got flustered by the conditions.

"I kind of figured there were going to be a lot of high scores, especially late in the afternoon because it just seemed to be getting worse and worse.

"You'd throw some grass on the tee box and it would blow left, but the flag was blowing right.

"The way I gauged it was by the flag and the trees behind the green and it seemed to work OK. I was pretty happy with where I was when I came in."

Lecuyer, who shot 67-68 in the first two rounds of the Telus Open to find himself tied for fourth at the halfway mark, has been on his game all summer.

"I'm building confidence every week," said the 2003 Canadian Junior champion.

"I played well in the Alberta Open (T5), which gave me some confidence for the Telus, and then I played well in the Telus which helped me going into the Amateur.

"It's nice to have a little cushion, but there's still three more rounds left and a lot of good players out there."


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