The opening round of the 42nd annual Lake Charles Toyota City Championship was brutal as scores soared along with the heat and wind. But one man managed to tame Mallard Cove on Friday.

Doug Quienalty shot a 4-under 68 and owned a three-shot lead over Blake DeReese and 2017 champ Gage Primeaux.

Quienalty used his putter to make the turn at 6 under after birdies on Nos. 2, 3, 5 and 6, plus a 5-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 No. 8.

“I was hitting it well,” Quienalty said. “It was a fun day on the front nine. I made a couple of really good putts to get the round started and I hit it really close on No. 5 and another on No. 6 which was kind of  a blessing from 30 feet out.”

It was one of his best rounds in the city championship since a second-round 66 in 2008. He finished as the runner-up to Robby Going that year.

Quienalty got to 7 under after a birdie on No. 11 before cooling off with bogeys on Nos. 14, 16 and 17.

“My mind started wandering a little bit,” Quienalty said. “My mom used to play that course a couple of times a week and she is not going well. I was thinking about her. I was just remembering all the happy times.

“On the back, I hit a few wayward drives. Overall, I was really pleased.”

In what could be the last city championship hosted at Mallard with a new municipal course under construction, the course didn’t give many breaks. The field averaged 77.23 with five rounds of par or better after 11 last year.

Defending champion Neithen Allen struggled as the heat index stayed well above 100 degrees, according to local weather reports. But Allen said the course is in its best condition in years.

“The course was good,” Allen said. “The greens are coming around.

“It was kind of one of those days. You are out there playing, not getting anything going and you are hoping everyone else is doing the same thing. The course has been soft the last couple of years, but this year, except for a few holes, the greens were firm. It makes it play tougher. It is nice to see the course do that again. It should play tougher for the championship.”

Allen made the turn at 1 under but bogeyed two of three holes to start the back nine before a birdie on No. 18. He finished at even-par 72 along with four-time champion Matt Nicholas.

“It is definitely one of the tougher rounds,” Allen said. “When it is windy and really hot, you try to hit the shots that the wind will dictate.

“I am lucky to be within striking distance. It is really the first year that we have had this type of wind.”

DeReese birdied the final two holes and Primeaux finished strong with birdies on Nos. 16 and 18.

Three-time champion Phillip Hoffpauir was 4 under after 13 holes but bogeyed three consecutive holes plus a double bogey on No. 17. He was tied for sixth with Shane Fontenot at 73.

Last year’s runner-up, Reid Giardina, was tied with Logan Kuehn for eighth at 74.

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