Collings, Baron tied for Grey Owl lead

A familiar name sits tied atop the leaderboard after Day 1 of action at the 61st annual Grey Owl, presented by IG Wealth Management.

Breezy Bend’s Garth Collings, who has won a record 11 Grey Owl titles, fired an even-par 72 on the picturesque Clear Lake Golf Course in the opening round of the 36-hole tournament, which puts him in a tie with Carberry’s Joel Baron.

Collings carded nines of 35 and 37 on the 6,102-yard layout, while Baron, who plays out of Carberry Sandhills Golf and Country Club, went out in 38 but came back with a solid two-under 34 on the tougher back nine in his first Grey Owl appearance.

It was an up-and-down front nine for Baron, who eagled the par-4 first hole and birdied the par-3 third before suffering a quadruple-bogey nine on the par-five fourth.

Collings had a much more smooth afternoon, registering two birdies, an eagle and four bogeys en route to his even-par round. Collings last won the Grey Owl in 2016, and since then has added Greyer Owl crowns, for those age 60 and over, in 2018 and 2019.

Defending champion Jared Jacobson of Brandon is two shots back after an opening-round 74, while Russell’s Braden Clement, the son of 1996 tournament winner Brad Clement, and MacGregor’s Darcy Howarth both shot 4-over 76s.

The rest of the field will play its opening rounds on Saturday. That includes two-time champion Jay Thiesen of Russell.

The tournament consists of 36 holes over three days. The low 16 or so and ties after the first round will make up the championship flight, which will tee off on Sunday morning.

Saturday’s tee times and more information can be found at thegreyowl.ca.

DAY 1 TOP SCORES
Garth Collings, Breezy Bend 35-37—72
Joel Baron, Carberry 38-34—72
Jared Jacobson, Brandon 36-38—74
Darcy Howarth, MacGregor 35-41—76
Braden Clement, Russell 39-37—76
Dwight Kearns, Brandon 38-39—77
Keaton Jameson, Shilo 39-38—77

(Submitted)