Daniel Balin of the U.S. and Peterborough’s Ted Brown shared the lead at 8-under par when play was suspended yesterday due to dangerous weather at the ATB Financial Classic.
Balin posted 64 to take the clubhouse lead, while Brown was 8-under through 15 holes in the PGA Tour Canada event.
The pair was one stroke ahead of defending champion Joe Panzeri of the U.S. and Linus Gillgren of Sweden, who shot a pair of 65s earlier in the day.
A teaching pro out of Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, Balin has played in the last four PGA Championships thanks to solid performances in the Professional National Championship, and recently earned conditional status as one of the top three non-members on the Order of Merit through the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel.
He open qualified into the field at the SIGA Dakota Dunes Open presented by SaskTel, where he finished in the top 20 to gain entry into the following week’s The Players Cup, where he finished T13. His earnings were enough to put him 52nd on the Order of Merit through six events, second among non-members.
With his number of starts on PGA Tour Canada and in South America making him ineligible to play the PGA Championship again this year, Balin has changed his focus toward a goal of making it to the PGA Tour as a full-time player.
Brown, who has been named Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week twice in his first season on PGA Tour Canada, continued what has been a strong season with a good start on Thursday to sit one shot ahead of Gillgren and Panzeri, who is looking to defend his title in Calgary.
DAHMEN TRYING TO BUILD OFF PGA TOUR EXPERIENCE
With his first PGA Tour start under his belt last week at the RBC Canadian Open, Order of Merit leader Joel Dahmen says he’s more motivated than ever to continue his strong season and work toward status on the Web.com Tour next season.
After a strong start at Royal Montreal, where he sat T5 following an opening round 66, the 26-year-old said he was encouraged about his prospects of making it to the PGA Tour.
He finished T53 and was the top PGA Tour Canada player in the event.
Dahmen opened with a 7-under 65 on Thursday, adding another solid round to what has been a brilliant season, with two wins in his first three events to take a solid grip of the top spot on the Order of Merit.
PGA Tour Canada