St. B pro grabs lead

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:20 AM ET

The four-way lead has become a two-shot advantage for Geoff Kehler of St. Boniface.

Kehler shot a 5-under 67 yesterday to move into sole possession of top spot at the Titleist/FootJoy Manitoba PGA Championship at St. Boniface Golf & Country.

'HIGH POINT'

"The 18th hole was probably the high point, I made a 45-foot putt for birdie," said Kehler, who shared the low round of the day with Scott Parker of Hecla and has a two-stroke cushion of first-round co-leaders Dean North of Selkirk and Glen Mills of Fantasy Lake (140). "I was just steady all day."

The first-year pro at St. Boniface is feeling really comfortable on his home course.

"There's a little bit of local knowledge, but it's more to do with confidence," said Kehler. "I play most of my rounds here so I can feel confident enough to hit a driver (on some holes) where other guys are hitting an iron."

Parker and Scott Davidson of Deer Ridge are six shots off the pace at 144.

In the senior division, Pat O'Donnel of Elmhurst shot 75 to capture the two-round event by one shot over Sandy Patterson of Breezy Bend.

Rana McLeod of Teulon won the ladies' division after shooting a 76 to finish with a two-round total of 157, which was two shots better than Jennifer Ross of Kenora.

TOUGH DAY: It was a tough opening day for Manitobans at the Royale Cup National Women's Amateur Championship in Moncton, N.B.

Stacey Bieber of St. Charles, who finished second in the women's amateur last month, was the low Manitoban and is in a group currently tied for 43rd after shooting 79.

Bieber, who returns to Texas Christian University for her senior season on the golf team in the fall, had a tough front nine that included bogeys on three of the first five holes and a triple bogey on the par-5 seventh.

However, she made par on nine of her final 11 holes and made bogey on the other two to finish strong.

Kyla Inaba of Kelowna, B.C. is the first-round leader after shooting a 1-under 70.

Judi Lidstone of Elmhurst finished at 11-over 82 and is in a group of players tied for 63rd, while Manitoba junior women's and women's amateur champion Kaitlin Troop of Brandon slipped to 70th after shooting 83.


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