Wind? What wind?
Erik Barnes and Josh Creel were in their own zone today at Pine Ridge Golf Club and there wasn’t a thing the 30-kilometre-per-hour wind and higher gusts were going to do about it.
Barnes came within one of the course record with an eight-under-par 63 and Creel fired 64 to set the pace on the first day of the $150,000 Players Cup.
The two Americans were paired together for today’s morning wave and set a wicked pace. Creel had the lead and bogeyed the 18th, while Barnes birdied the final hole from about three feet. They combined for 12 birdies and two eagles.
Matthew Smith of Australia also birdied the last to fashion a five-under 66, while Canadian Matt Hill was in at 67.
The only Manitoban in the early wave of the draw, Josh Wytinck of Pine Ridge, shot 74.
Barnes, who finished fourth last week in Saskatoon, had a bogey-free experience today, which was impressive considering how much the south wind was blowing.
"I’m playing well right now," Barnes said. "It seems like the ball just wants to find the hole for me, so obviously it wasn’t easy conditions today, but me and Creel just kept feeding off each other and kept making birdies.
"We knocked some putts in, hit some really good shots and the next thing you know, we both played really well."