BLAINVILLE, Quebec—It was a cool and overcast day, but Blair Bursey powered through the inclement weather and took early control of the first Mackenzie Tour event in 20 months.

Starting in the first group of the day, the Gander, Newfoundland, native set the pace, firing a 6-under 66, good for a two-shot lead at the Mackenzie Investments Open, which marks the first stop on the 2021 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada schedule.

“I was fortunate today to get off to a good start,” said Bursey. “I hit some good shots early and then missed a few. But things kind of progressed as the round went along, so it was a good snowball effect.”

The 24-year-old saved the best for last making birdie on three of the last four holes finishing with a 32 on the back nine as the rain began to fall.

“It was good to get a few coming in,” said Bursey. “I’ll get some rest, come back [Friday], see how the weather shakes out and be ready to go.”

Aurora, Ontario’s Marc Casullo made a late-afternoon charge and sits just two shots off the lead despite finishing with a bogey on his 18th hole. Consistency was the key to his game. 
“I didn’t really get hot,” said Casullo. “I made a lot of pars and made birdies when I could.”

Playing in his home province, Keven Fortin-Simard made four birdies on his first seven holes en route to a 3-under 69 and currently is tied for third with Mike Gonko.  

“I hit the ball great and made it easy on myself,” said the Chicoutimi native. “I gave myself some close looks and a lot of straight putts and that made it quite easy from the start.”