Vancouver, British Columbia - Hailing from Langley, British Columbia, James Allenby shot his career-low round on a PGA TOUR-sanctioned circuit on Friday at Point Grey Golf & Country Club, firing a 9-under par 63 to head into the third round of the Canada Life Open with a two-stroke lead over Jake Knapp.
A sponsored exemption this week, the 34-year old played in four separate one-day competitive events in May leading up to the Canada Life Open. He set the course record in three of those rounds and tied his own course record in the fourth.
The numbers in those rounds? A 65 in the local RBC Canadian Open qualifier, a 63 at Sandpiper Golf Course and a pair of 61s at Mission Country Club and Chilliwack Golf Club during local Vancouver Golf Tour events.
“It’s a rhythm for me right now, it’s all I can describe it as. It’s not something that I think about, it’s not on my mind, I just go out and continue doing what I’m doing,” said Allenby following Friday’s second round. “I’m putting really well and usually that’s what it takes to shoot really low numbers.”
It wasn’t just the putter that was hot for Allenby on Friday at the Mackenzie Tour’s season opener, but all facets of his game.
Starting on hole No. 11 due to the tournament’s modified back-nine start, Allenby began his day 1-under through six holes, but gained momentum as he made the turn that included three par-5s in a four-hole span, playing his next seven holes 7-under par.
Tacking on one more circle on his final hole of the day, Allenby bested his 65 from the 2013 Canada Life Championship with a bogey-free 63 to move to 13-under for the week.
“This is where you want to be,” said the former All-American with the Oregon Ducks. “It’s a lot of fun and there’s still a lot of work to do, but hopefully I can keep this rhythm I have going and take it through to the finish.”
A journeyman who’s played 69 Mackenzie Tour events since 2009, Allenby’s best year came in the form of an 18th-place finish on the Order of Merit in 2012. In his career, Allenby has 16 top-25 finishes on the Mackenzie Tour.
Though a stint on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica came with mixed results in 2018, finishing 93rd on the Order of Merit, Allenby has found success in recent years on various mini-tours, picking up nine-professional victories since 2017. Despite his game trending in the right direction, he’s still searching for status on a professional tour.
“It’s a grind, sometimes it’s not fun, but I have to get myself out there. I have to give myself enough shots at getting on a tour somewhere, anywhere,” said Allenby. “It hasn’t worked out for me yet so far, but I know it’s there and I know the game is there, it’s just a matter of time.”
On Allenby’s heels is 24-year old Jake Knapp, two-strokes back at 11-under par following a second-round 68.