Stuart keeps pace

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

Brenden Stuart is back at the Glencoe and back in the hunt.

The New Zealander, who won the 2004 Pengrowth Glencoe Invitational golf tournament, found himself keeping pace with the leaders yesterday at the Glencoe Golf and Country Club, shooting a 1-over 73 -- good for a sixth-place tie.

Calgary's Jordan Irwin leads after firing a 5-under 67, which included a 32 on the front nine.

As for Stuart, who hails from Wellington, his putter let him down a bit.

"You can't win the tournament in the first round but you can surely lose it and I haven't lost it yet," said the 21-year-old Stuart with a chuckle.

"I hit the ball well but couldn't make the putts to get the momentum going in the round. Then I bogeyed the last hole, which didn't go down so well.

"I was 1-under after the first nine and missed a birdie putt on nine but, if I'd had the putter going, it could have been 68, 69."

Calgary's Todd Halpen shot a 68 and is tied with Cloverdale, B.C.'s Greg McAuley.

When he won two years ago, Stuart beat fellow Kiwi and good buddy Brad Iles in a playoff and finished the three-round event at 5-under.

Last year he struggled, shooting an opening round 79 to fall out of contention early.

Stuart has been in Canada for the past 2 1/2 weeks and plans on spending the summer here and taking part in the Canadian amateur this August.

He said the course is in great shape, which wasn't the case when he arrived in Calgary.

"It's superb. It was a little sketchy but the greens staff -- and all the staff -- has done a fabulous job of getting the course up to date and the weather's helped too," said Stuart.

This year's tournament has a 69-player field that includes top amateur golfers from Canada, the U.S., New Zealand and Mexico.

Round 2 of the three-round event goes today with the final tomorrow.


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