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Montreal native holds lead midway through round one of the GolfBC Championship at Gallagher's Canyon

Kelowna teen in golf hunt

UPDATE 8 p.m.

Kelowna native Cooper Humphreys finds himself in the mix after 18 holes of the GolfBC Championship at Gallagher's Canyon Golf and Country Club.

The 16-year-old amateur who plays out of Predator Ridge in Vernon shot a two-under 69 during the opening round of the Mackenzie Tour - PGA Tour Canada stop Wednesday.

Humphreys made some noise two years ago when, after just turning 14, dissected the back nine for five birdies in the second round of the 2019 Mackenzie Tour event.

He missed the cut despite shooting 30 on the back nine, but served notice he was someone to keep an eye on in the coming years.

Humphreys, the leading amateur in the field, finished the round with four birdies and a pair of bogeys, leaving him four shots in back of first round leader Etienne Brault of Montreal.

Brault, 25, carded a bogey-free six-under 65 during the opening round.

He holds a one shot lead on a trio of golfers, Will Barnett of Australia, Yi Cao of China and Calgary's Sang Lee.

Lee was the only one of the four leaders to play during the afternoon flight.

He was a pedestrian one-under over his first nine holes before catching fire on the front side, his second nine of the day.

Lee birdied one, two, four and six to finish with a bogey-free 66.

Barnett played himself into contention with a blistering 29 on the back nine after opening the tournament three over after just five holes.

Humphreys is not the only amateur to make some noise in the opening round.

Seventeen-year-old Jeevan Sihota of Victoria fired an even par 71.

The second round tees off at 7:15 Thursday morning.

Canadian pro Etienne Brault holds the early lead during the opening round of the GolfBC Championship at Gallagher's Canyon Golf and Country Club.

The 25-year-old Montreal native fired an opening round six-under 65 during a cool, overcast morning in East Kelowna.

Brault started his day on the back nine, making the turn at three under. After consecutive pars on the first four holes on the front side, Brault found his putting stroke, rolling in birdies on three of the next four holes before finishing with a par on the par-five ninth.

He holds a one shot lead in the clubhouse over Will Barnett of Australia and Yi Cao of China, both at five-under 66.

Barnett, who finished in a tie for third at last week's ATB Financial Classic in Calgary, had a slow start to his opening round.

He was three-over after starting with double bogey on one and bogey on five before settling down to finish the day with six birdies and an eagle at number 12.

Cao fired seven birdies and two bogeys en route to his 66.

Twenty Kelowna golfers and nearly 70 from B.C. are among the 141 teeing it up this week at Gallagher's Canyon.

Following provincial health mandates, fans will be allowed to attend this week's event with proof of full vaccination.

Courtesy of Castanet, admission is free for all four days.

The GolfBC Championship wraps up Saturday afternoon.

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