Camelot chews up most of Cynergy field

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:20 AM ET

There was no question who the winner was after the first round of the Cynergy Etto Quebec Amateur Championship yesterday.

It was the Camelot Golf and Country Club.

Only three players broke par -- led by Mathieu Belanger's 2-under-par 70 -- and only six players were at par or better.

Only 16 players broke 75.

Nick Yuen of the Rideau View Country Club, who had a 1-under 71 to tie for second, summed things up for the handful of players who came off the 6,889-yard track with their heads still held high.

"I survived," said Yuen. "I knew if I didn't play well (yesterday), the course would eat me up. Anything near par is great."

The wind whipped across the Cumberland course for portions of the day and that, combined with the gnarly fescue and greens rolling around 11 on the Stimpmeter, made for tough conditions for the Ottawa Valley's and the province of Quebec's top amateur players.

"I had no expectations for anything (yesterday)," said the 20-year-old Belanger, who plays out of Royal Quebec. He missed the cut at the Alexander of Tunis tournament after an opening-round 81 earlier this week.

"I just played for the middle of the greens all day. I had a couple of good shots and I putted well all day."

Also breaking par was Mathieu Rivard, 16, who is coming off a tie for fifth at the Tunis earlier this week.

"This is a tough course and it was windy in the morning. It was hard to keep some drives straight and out of the fescue," he said. "But the ball was rolling perfectly on the greens. That was the fun part of it."

Defending champion Keven Fortin Simard, a member of Canada's national amateur team and a three-time winner with the University of Memphis Tigers this season, turned in a 3-over 75 and said he couldn't put two good shots together.

"I'd hit a good tee shot, then a poor second. I'd hit a good chip and miss the putt. I hit some crazy second shots and screwed up from there," he said. "That stuff happens, but it's kind of disappointing. I shot 75 and I don't believe the course was the reason why. That's not the reason I finished 3-over. I didn't hit good shots and I don't deserve a good score.

"But there's a lot of golf left. Hopefully, I'll have a good round (today) and get right back in the mix. I just want to give myself a chance on Saturday. A 68 will make me forget that 75."

Tunis champion Chris McCuaig of the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club had a 78.

At even-par 72 are Allan McGee of Canadian, Benoit Gordon of Pinegrove and Jean-Sebastien Legare of Lorette.


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