Teeing off atop a hill overlooking the par-4, 303-yard 6th hole, Fanning, who started his round on the 10th tee, drained the hole-in-one to gain three shots and move into a tie for top spot with hometown boy Blair Piercy at 6-under.
Dave Branshaw (Tampa, Fla.), shooting 2-over over his first nine holes, also had an ace Thursday on the 164-yard, par-3 14th hole.
A total of 156 golfers from 11 countries will challenge the 6459 yard, par-71 layout for a $150,000 purse. Defending champion Jason Bohn (Atlanta, Ga.) is back on Vancouver Island to defend his crown against a field that also features the winners of all four Myrtle Beach events: Eamonn Brady of Ireland and Americans Aaron Barber, Jace Bugg and Scott Ford. Barber (Orlando, Fla.) currently sits atop the McDonalds Order of Merit with $40,150 in winnings.
Following the Shell Payless Open, the Canadian Tour will head to Vancouver for next weeks TELUS Vancouver Open.