Slawter Leads Entering Third Round


Canadian Tour-LargeAfter a couple of near-misses earlier this season, Canadian Tour rookie Mark Slawter has put himself in position for his first tournament win after Fridays second round of the Eagle Creek Classic.
Coming off an opening round 64 Thursday, Slawter followed that with a 6-under-par 66 and sits at 14-under through two days, good enough for a two-shot lead over Rich Massey (Harrington Park, N.J.), who tied the Eagle Creek course record with a 63 Friday. Winnipegs Todd Fanning is the top Canadian, tied for third with Chris Greenwood (Valdese, N.C.), three shots back.
Play was halted for eighty minutes beginning at 3:22pm ET when heavy rains, high winds and lightning battered Eagle Creek Golf Club. Second-round play was completed just before dusk, with 68 players shooting 1'under-par or better to make the cut.
Slawter, who grabbed a Canadian Tour card during last Februarys Winter Qualifying School in Myrtle Beach, S.C., had a third and a pair of second-place finishes during a three-event run earlier this summer, including the Vancouver TELUS Open when he was involved in a six-man playoff, the largest in Canadian Tour history.
I was confident coming into the summer, Ive had success on the other Tours I played earlier (Hooters and Teardrop), said the 27-year-old. It was just a matter of working out certain parts of my game.
At the MTS Classic in Winnipeg last month, Slawter fired a Pine Ridge Golf Club record-tying 62 on the final day, forcing Kenneth Staton (Ormond Beach, Fla.) to birdie the final hole for a one-stroke victory. When asked about the close finishes and record-shattering exploits on the Canadian Tour this season, he had a logical response.
What you have here is 160 hungry golfers week in and week out. Everyone is out there fighting for every shot and its hard to separate yourself from the pack.
Massey became the third Tour member in two days to equal the 7067-yard, par-72 Eagle Creek record. Choosing not to practice earlier in the week in favour of some rest, the seven-year veteran, who lost a playoff to Derek Gilchrist three weeks ago in Sudbury, admitted the decision paid off huge dividends.
Ive been on the road since April, and I was just dead tired, he reasoned. Ive been playing well lately, and I look at this way - Ill be playing this weekend, and Ill get to sleep in (Saturday). Thats all I can ask.
Sitting at 11-under through two days and teamed with Massey Friday, Fanning stressed his play is beginning to reap rewards. Should he remain one of the top two Canadians on the McDonalds Order of Merit after next weeks Aliant Cup, Fanning would qualify for the two PGA events to be staged in Canada within the next month. Currently, he is number two, behind Craig Matthew (Ile Bizard, QC).
Ive been staying patient lately, getting it to 5 or 6-under and not getting anything from my rounds. The fact that Im taking next week off means I have to finish well here in order to have a chance.
Full-field scores from the Eagle Creek Classic