Courtenay, B.C. – Barrie, Ont.’s Eric Hawerchuk shot an 8-under 64 on Tuesday at Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community to take the first round lead at the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Qualifying Tournament.
The 26-year old, whose father is NHL Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk, was bogey-free with eight birdies to lead by one over Lake Elsinore, California’s Aaron Wise after one round in Courtenay.
“I played smart and had a couple big up-and-downs, par saves that kept me going to be honest. A lot of the putts fell in, and it was a great day,” said Hawerchuk.
After missing his card at Q-School in 2014, Hawerchuk said he took a hard look in the mirror and began making changes to his game with the goal of becoming a competitive player on the path to the PGA TOUR.
“I came two years ago and I realized I wasn’t ready to play at this level. You see how good everyone is, and I took last year to just kind of work on some things that I learned, and it seems to be paying off so far. Hopefully I can just keep that going,” said Hawerchuk.
With three rounds to go, the former Central Connecticut State Blue Devil said he was still focused on competing through the week and not getting ahead of himself despite his red hot opening round.
“This is a huge bonus,” said Hawerchuk. “I was just trying to get in there, shoot a few under and be right in the mix, so to jump out to a nice start like today – I’m not going to really change anything, but it does help my mindset going forward.”
“I was just having fun, to be honest. I had my brother-in-law on the bag, and just the stuff I’ve been working on the last few months with my coaches has been paying off. I’m just trying to be a kid again, trying to be an artist out there,” said Fink.