Ellis Leads Canadian Winter Q-School

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Canadian Tour-LargeCHINO HILLS, Calif. -- Californian John Ellis opened with a 5-under 67 in his home state Tuesday to take the early lead at the Canadian Tours California Winter Qualifying School.
 
The 25-year-old leads Dong Yi by one stroke heading into Wednesdays second round. Russell Surber of Blaine, Wash. fired a 69 while six others are three back.
 
Ellis wasnt the only player from the Golden State to fare well, as Californians hold down ten of the top 16 spots after the opening day.
 
Jeff Puska of Ladysmith, BC is the top Canadian after posting an opening round 71.
 
Once final round action wraps up Friday, the Canadian Tour will award exempt playing cards for the 2005 season to the low ten finishers with an additional ten players, plus ties, earning non-exempt status. Ninety-five golfers from five countries teed it up in the opening round.
 
With Southern California receiving a reprieve from the torrential rains that have pounded the area in recent days, Ellis calmly went out Tuesday and hit 11 of 14 fairways and missed just three greens in regulation all day.
 
That was just a solid round of golf, said Ellis, a three-time member of the NCAAs All-Pac Ten team while at the University of Oregon. I drove it well, hit some solid irons and made some putts. That usually leads to some good things. It was pretty stress-free.
 
Ellis, who turned professional a year and a half ago, advanced to the second stage of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament last fall but missed the final phase in the three-tiered marathon by one stroke. Looking to erase that disappointment here, he knows how vital it was to get a quick start out of the gate in Chino Hills. Sitting at the top of the leaderboard after one day, Ellis says he will take the same game plan into the second round and not let up at the 7,100-yard, par-72 Los Serranos CC track.
 
You dont want to put yourself behind the 8-ball early. You obviously want as much breathing room as possible heading into Friday. Ill keep firing, try to shoot the lowest possible score for four rounds and see where I am.
 
Last week, 14 players including U.S. amateur star Casey Wittenberg and Canadians Scott McNeil, Glenn Collins and Danny Sahl, earned Canadian Tour playing cards at the Florida Q-School.
 
The 2005 season kicks off Mar. 12-15 in Austin, Tex. with the Barton Creek Austin Canadian Tour Pro-Am Classic presented by Yes! Golf.
 
Scores Tuesday after the opening round of the Canadian Tours California Winter Qualifying School being held at the 7,104-yard, par-72 Los Serranos CC (a-denotes amateur):
 
1 Ellis, John San Jose, CA 33-34_67
2 Yi, Dong Alameda, CA 32-36_68
3 Surber, Russell Blaine, WA 34-35_69
4 Brunson, Daniel Greenville, SC 37-33_70
4 Henderson, Scott Dove Canyon, CA 36-34_70
4 Itzen, Justin Palm Desert, CA 34-36_70
4 Keller, Rob Temecula, CA 36-34_70
4 Kennedy, Robert Phoenix, AZ 35-35_70
4 Tomasulo, Peter Long Beach, CA 34-36_70
10 Beard, Michael Palm Desert, CA 35-36_71
10 Giarrantano, Tony Castle Rock, CO 35-36_71
10 Harrington, Scott Scottsdale, CA 35-36_71
10 Henson, Berry LaQuinta, CA 36-35_71
10 Puska, Jeff Ladysmith, BC 36-35_71
10 Sestero, Luke Scottsdale, AZ 36-35_71
10 Walton, Michael Palm Desert, CA 35-36_71
17 Hatley, Reid Spokane, WA 37-35_72
17 Riskam, Daniel Hermosa Beach, CA 36-36_72
17 Ruda, Jesse Santa Barbara, CA 37-35_72
20 Brown, Michael Cheltenham, PA 37-36_73
20 Frier, Steve Richmond, BC 39-34_73
20 Guetz, Bret Scottsdale, AZ 35-38_73
20 Lindstom, Jon Castle Rock, CO 38-35_73
20 Mackenzie, Brock Yakima, WA 36-37_73
20 Overson, Darrin Orem, UT 38-35_73
20 Smith, Todd Elk Grove, CA 37-36_73
27 Bergstedt III, Russell Phoenix, AZ 37-37_74
27 Buxbaum, Aaron Encinitas, CA 36-38_74
27 Coleman, Jim Bob Billings, MT 37-37_74
27 Floyd, Dan McKinney, TX 37-37_74
27 Fonner, Matthew Los Gatos, CA 37-37_74
27 Guetz, Brian Scottsdale, AZ 36-38_74
27 Kang, Tai Abbotsford, BC 36-38_74
27 Monfont, Kyle Dublin, OH 38-36_74
27 Puekdang, Ty Berkeley, CA 37-37_74
27 Sanchez, Cuauhtemoc Austin, TX 38-36_74
37 Aga, Matt Carlsbad, CA 37-38_75
37 Atlick, Scott Atherton, CA 42-33_75
37 Burnier, Jean-Luc Dana Point, CA 37-38_75
37 Gavlak, Zac Phoenix, AZ 40-35_75
37 Kawaguchi, Masa Japan 37-38_75
37 Kawano, Koichiro Japan 39-36_75
37 Kirkpatrick, Miles Stockton, CA 39-36_75
37 Kowaluk, Kurt Sudbury, ON 36-39_75
37 Mallinger, John Escondido, CA 39-36_75
37 Minamimoto, Osamu Japan 37-38_75
37 Nakane, Kenta Japan 35-40_75
37 Park, Pedro New Zealand 36-39_75
37 Potter, Dan Coeurd'Alene, ID 40-35_75
37 Smith, Blaise Chino, CA 37-38_75
37 Streat, Heath Australia 39-36_75
52 Dennis, Spencer Arroyo Grande, CA 39-37_76
52 Dorothy, Dean Aiea, HI 38-38_76
52 Heinz, Jerry Poway, CA 39-37_76
52 Kastner, Jason Hudson, QC 38-38_76
52 Martin, Nolan Cold Springs, CO 36-40_76
52 Moreno, JP Pico Rivera, CA 38-38_76
52 Patterson, Marcus Rancho Cordova, CA 37-39_76
52 Richardson, Brandon Junction City, OR 38-38_76
52 Smith, Warren Houston, TX 39-37_76
52 Tayler, Nik Australia 36-40_76
52 Uchibori, Yuki Japan 38-38_76
52 Vinson, CJ Phoenix, AZ 37-39_76
52 Watanabe, Steve San Francisco, CA 40-36_76
52 Wiles, Trevin Sandy, UT 39-37_76
66 Dickson, Chris Bright's Grove, ON 37-40_77
66 Ferlic, Gavin South Bend, IN 40-37_77
66 Inlow, Travis Calgary, AB 39-38_77
66 Jensen, Brent Pleasant Hill, CA 40-37_77
66 Kupeyan, Calvin Tecumseh, ON 38-39_77
66 McNally, Michael Billings, MT 43-34_77
66 Pederson, Shawn Lahana, HI 39-38_77
66 Robertson, John W. Olympia, WA 41-36_77
66 Shibuya, Randy Honolulu, HI 40-37_77
75 Blackwell, Shane Scottsdale, CA 39-39_78
75 Takase, Atsushi Japan 40-38_78
77 Kuraoka, Justin Rancho Cordova, CA 38-41_79
77 Newbolt, Tim Kihei, HI 40-39_79
77 Stevens, Noah Woodlands, TX 40-39_79
77 Streatfield, Andrew Marina, CA 35-44_79
81 Duran, Tony Phoenix, AZ 40-40_80
81 Kennedy, Dean Vancouver, BC 40-40_80
81 LeBlanc, Dale Scottsdale, AZ 42-38_80
81 Libby, Kyle San Jose, CA 40-40_80
81 Narita, Mitsutake Japan 37-43_80
81 Pekuri, Mark Santa Monica, CA 40-40_80
87 Johnstone, Evan Orinda, CA 40-41_81
87 Luce, Jeremy Austin, TX 42-39_81
87 Potter, Bryan Santa Monica, Ca 40-41_81
90 Aldrich, David (A) Grass Valley, CA 38-44_82
90 Smith, Ryan Australia 40-42_82
92 Hamano, Takashi Japan 40-43_83
92 Israel, Peter (A) Palm Desert, CA 43-40_83
94 Hilton, Jed Riverton, UT 42-45_87
95 Stahlheber, Charles Vancouver, WA 48-50_98