DUPONT, Washington — After 36 holes at the final Forme Tour Qualifying Tournament of 2021, four players share the lead through 36 holes, with the eventual winner earning exempt status for the entire inaugural season of the new circuit. Canadians Callum Davison and Jared du Toit join Americans Eric Lilleboe and Mike Chanaud at 7-under. The quartet holds a one-shot lead over South Africa’s Albert Pistorius, with American Sarosh Adi alone in sixth—two back.
Of the four leaders, only Chanaud shot in the 70s Wednesday—a 2-under 70—while du Toit had the low round of the day (and a share of the tournament-low), a 5-under 67, with Lilleboe and Davison each fashioning 3-under 69s. Oddly enough, it was Chanaud who looked like he would be the one to go extremely low, getting to 4-under through seven holes before tapering off.
He had a wild, six-hole ride that began at No. 6, where he made the first of back-to-back birdies. After a par-5 at the eighth, where he missed a 15-footer for birdie, the Towson State graduate bogeyed the final hole of the front nine when he hit his second shot in the bunker and couldn’t get up and down. A bogey at 10 and a lost tee ball at No. 11 that led to a double bogey dropped him back to even-par after his blazing-hot start.
“It was a little downwind on 11, so I took driver out. I hit it left, and we never found the ball. I didn’t hit a provisional, either, so that was a rollercoaster. I walked all the way (back to the tee) with a 5-iron and ended up making double,” Chanaud said.
He three-putted the par-3 14th for his final bogey of the day but reeled off a birdie-birdie-par-birdie finish for his 2-under outing. Chanaud had a three-inch birdie putt on No. 15, a tap-in birdie on the par-5 16th and finished his day with a flourishing, canning a 30-foot birdie on the 18th.
Tuesday, du Toit signed for his 2-under 70 but was frustrated. “I just really felt like I played a lot better than 70. Today was very similar. I played the same but really tried to keep the card clean and avoid mistakes. I did a good job of that,” du Toit said.
The Calgary native and 2017 Arizona State graduate made six birdies and a bogey Wednesday, three of his birdies coming at the end of his round, at Nos. 15, 16 and 17.
For the first two days, Davison has been battling a shaky driver. He had the same number of birdies as bogeys Wednesday (three), the difference coming at the par-5 eighth, where he hit his 3-wood approach to seven feet and made the eagle putt. “That green’s a bowl. You have to get it on there and see where [the ball] goes,” he said.
Lilleboe, Davison and Pistorius are the only players to post consecutive sub-70 rounds to start the tournament. Despite bogeys at No. 1 in each of the first two days, Lilleboe has offset those blemishes with 12 birdies.
“I’m right there. I’m liking the way I’m playing. You have to hit your irons well out here, and I’ve been placing my irons well on the greens, going at the pins I should be going at,” Lilleboe explained. “I’m happy with how I’m hitting the golf ball and how I’m managing my game.”
Wednesday’s third round features du Toit, Davison and Chanaud playing in the final grouping, teeing off at 9:25 a.m., while Lilleboe will group with Pistorius and Adi in the second-to-last group, that tee time at 9:15.