The 29-year-old fired a 9-under-par 63 at scenic Eagle Creek Golf Club and sits tied with Chris Anderson (Covina, Calif.), one shot ahead of Mark Slawter (Raleigh, N.C.). TELUS Vancouver Open champion Steve Scott (Wellington, Fla.) and Chris Greenwood (Valdese, N.C.) are two shots back, while five others are at 6-under, including Drew Symons (Woodstock, ON), Steve Woods (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Alex Quiroz (Mexico), who teamed up Thursday to form the opening threesome of the day and all carded 66s.
But it was Canadian Tour rookie Reese, who had his best finish of the year at the TELUS Open in Quebec a week ago, who tamed the 7067-yard layout in the morning draw. Starting his round on the tenth tee, Reese fired a 30 on the front nine, highlighted by an eagle and two birdies over the final three holes.
That was the best putting round I have ever had, everything seemed to go in, he said after needing just 25 putts on the day. I think I can feed off last weekIve played well this year, but I just cant seem to keep it going over the weekend.
When asked if his record-tying effort would hold up for the day, Reese shrugged his shoulders and laughed.
I would hope a 63 would do it, but you never know. There have been a lot of great scores here this season.
Four hours later, Anderson, 30, proved Reeses theory right by matching his score despite bogeying three holes. During a nine-hole stretch, the former NIKE Tour member had seven birdies, an eagle and a par. Earlier in the day, Anderson, who made eight of ten cuts last year, had looked at the leaderboard on the seventh tee and was amazed by Reeses total.
I saw Mike at 9-under and I thought, Good God, what course is he playing?, he said. The wind was blowing pretty good, but I was really close with my irons all afternoon. But tomorrow is another day, and its always hard to follow up on a great round like that.
Following second-round play Friday, the field will be reduced to the low sixty scores plus ties. Those surviving the cut will play for the $24,000 top prize on the weekend.
Full-field scores from the Eagle Creek Classic