Kang, Linton tied for top spot after moving day in Windsor
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WINDSOR, Ontario -- Jeffrey Kang shot an 8-under 63 on Saturday and pulled into a tie for first place with 36-hole leader Ryan Linton at 20-under-par headed into the final round of PGA TOUR Canada’s Windsor Championship.
Kang, whose round included a pair of eagles, was able to catch Linton, who had a pair of bogeys on the back nine and settled for a 68 on moving day at the Ambassador Golf Club. Kang and Linton carry a one-shot lead on their next closest competitors, while both also mark their first time leading/co-leading a PGA TOUR Canada event heading into the final day of competition.
“It was just putting myself in good spots off the tee and giving myself a lot of looks on the green,” Kang said of his success moving up the leaderboard Saturday.
Kang, of Los Angeles, California, is playing in his third PGA TOUR Canada event of the season after spending most of his early summer on the Korn Ferry Tour. He tied for 17th last week at the Osprey Valley Open. The 63 he recorded today was his best score in a Tour event this year.
Kang’s eagles came at No. 7, when he hit a 7-iron to within six feet, and at No. 13, when he hit a 5-iron to within 20 feet and made the uphill putt. He was especially proud of the birdie on the final hole, a 35-footer from the front part of the green.
“I feel like I have wedges in my hand pretty much 70 percent of the time going into these par-4s – unless I’m going for it,” Kang said. “And even the par-5s, you hit a good drive and you’re hitting irons into the green. You just get more aggressive and you’re trying to get more aggressive and hit as many drivers and get as close as you can to the hole.”
Linton, of Lake Forest, Illinois, had an eagle on the third hole, but couldn’t find the same groove that allowed him to shoot 62-63 in the first two rounds. He made three birdies to go along with two bogeys.
“Had it going early, but just a little dry with the putter today was really the difference,” Linton said. “You just forget about it, get a little practice in the afternoon and go out and try to tear it up tomorrow. You’re obviously going to have to make some birdies. To be in a share for the lead right now, after today’s round, is a little bit of a surprise.”
Tied for third at 19-under are Devon Bling, who shot 61 and moved up 23 spots, and Luke Schniederjans, who shot 63. Both are looking for their first win on PGA TOUR Canada.
Bling, of Ridgecrest, California, roared out of the gate with two birdies and an eagle – all with 10-foot putts -- to shoot 30 on the front nine. He added four more birdies on the back nine to shoot 31. Bling, who lost in a playoff at the Commissionaires Ottawa Open two weeks ago, finished with his lowest score in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.
“I got off to a fast start,” Bling said. “I felt like I needed to do that with the scores that are being shot out here, but to start out with 4-under through three holes was pretty special. And then to keep my focus and keep going forward after that was pretty special, too.”
Schniederjans, of Powder Springs, Georgia, had an eagle and six birdies to match his lowest score on PGA TOUR Canada. He also lost in the playoff at the Commissionaires Ottawa Open.
Knotted in fifth place at 18-under are Canadian Stuart Macdonald and the USA’s Sam Choi and Alex Scott. Five players are tied for eighth, just three shots back at 17-under, including Canadians Noah Steele, Matthew Anderson and Lawren Rowe, along with Americans Cameron Sisk and Joey Vrzich.
The scenario for the final day is similar to 2019, the last time the Windsor Championship was played, when 26 players entered the final round within four shots of the lead. This year there are 22 players within six strokes of first place.
Macdonald, of Vancouver, British Columbia, who won the Commissionaires Ottawa Open, said he didn’t drive the ball as well on Saturday. He also showed signs of fatigue and made two bogeys on the final nine, one on the par-5 13th hole.
“I didn’t have my best stuff today, but I’m still in a good spot for tomorrow,” he said.
Macdonald began this week by shooting a course-record 60. Macdonald wants to improve his fifth-place standing on the Fortinet Cup points list.
“I’m just going to keep on doing what I’ve been doing and just keep pecking away and give ourselves looks and see what happens,” Macdonald said.
Did you know the 20-under score by co-leaders Kang and Linton is five strokes better than the previous low 54-hole score this season, a 15-under by Davis Lamb at the Quebec Open?
Fortinet Cup Standings
(Through Osprey Valley Open)
|Pos.||Player||Points||Current Tournament Pos.|
|1||Davis Lamb (United States)||1,068||T13|
|2||John Pak (United States)||680||T51|
|3||Étienne Papineau (Canada)||644||Cut|
|4||Chris Korte (United States)||581||Cut|
|5||Stuart Macdonald (Canada)||553||T5|
|6||Davis Shore (United States)||527||Cut|
|7||Sam Choi (United States)||520||T5|
|8||Devon Bling (United States)||433||T3|
|9||Brian Richey (United States)||384||T37|
|10||David Kim (United States)||383||T29|
Fortinet Cup leader Davis Lamb shot a 64 on Saturday and moved into a tie for 13th at 16-under. Lamb had six birdies on the back nine.
Devon Bling’s approach on the final hole came within inches of going in and matching the course record set on Thursday by Stuart Macdonald. “When I hit the shot, I saw it land and knew it had a chance and looked like I just pushed it an inch or so,” Bling said.
Devon Bling’s brother, Dylan, has been his caddie again this week. Bling said, “We enjoy our all of our time out there together. We have a good time. It’s what we love to do and having him on the bag keeps me relaxed and I know I can be a little bit tense at times, so having him there helps me stay relaxed and helps me make better decisions and then make better golf swings.” Bling’s girlfriend, Sophia, came up from California for the week to add her support.
Monday qualifiers Ian Martin of Saline, Michigan, shot 63 and moved up 29 spots into a tie for 13th at 16-under. Martin is trying to become the second open qualifier to win a tournament, joining two-time winner Davis Lamb.
Thomas DeMarco lives only four miles from the Ambassador Golf Club and is playing on a sponsor exemption. The LaSalle, Ontario, resident is a reinstated amateur who has anywhere from 30-50 fans following in the gallery and rewarded their support by making the cut. He shot 66 on Saturday and is tied for 19th at 14-under. DeMarco’s sister Laura, who spent time on the Symetra Tour, has been his caddie.
Thomas DeMarco joins 14 other Canadians who have made the cut yesterday and are playing throughout the weekend. Of the Canadians still in the hunt, Stuart Macdonald leads the way at 18-under and tied for fifth. Through 54 holes, here are the Canadian players who made the PGA TOUR Canada record-setting low cut (7-under), their scores and positions after round three.
|T5||Stuart Macdonald||195 (18-under)|
|T8||Noah Steele||196 (17-under)|
|T8||Lawren Rowe||196 (17-under)|
|T8||Matthew Anderson||196 (17-under)|
|T15||Jeevan Sihota||198 (15-under)|
|T19||Thomas DeMarco (a)||199 (14-under)|
|T29||Brendan MacDougall||201 (12-under)|
|T29||Jared du Toit||201 (12-under)|
|T37||Max Sekulic||202 (11-under)|
|T37||Myles Creighton||202 (11-under)|
|T49||Andrew Harrison||203 (10-under)|
|T51||Joey Savoie||204 (9-under)|
|T61||Drew Nesbitt||205 (8-under)|
|T67||Raoul Ménard||207 (6-under)|
|T71||Brendan Seys||208 (5-under)|
The Windsor Championship marks the fourth event in a four-week stretch of PGA TOUR Canada tournaments in Eastern Canada. During this month-long run of competition, there have been just 10 players who made the cut in all four events. They are the USA’s Sam Choi, Bryce Emory, Clay Feagler,Chris Francoeur, Davis Lamb,Thomas Longbella, John Pak, Travis Trace, Joey Vrzich and Australia’s Jason Hong. After tomorrow’s final round in Windsor, Ontario, the Tour will take a two-week break before resuming in Winnipeg, Manitoba for the CentrePort Canada Rail Park Manitoba Open, August 24-27.
“You’ve got to make birdies, find a way to make them. Either hit them a little closer or make good putts, but they’re out there. There are a lot of opportunities and you’ve got to take advantage.” – Ryan Linton
“I executed everything perfectly. I’ve made everything. It started with a 10-footer on the first hole, then another one on the second and another on the third. Pretty good ball-striking there on the first few.” – Devon Bling
“I’m going to get some rest. I’m a little tired. It’s the end of a three-week stretch for me and it’s been an exhausting three weeks. Get some rest and come out fresh for tomorrow.” – Stuart Macdonald.
Third-Round Weather: Mostly sunny with a high of 26. Wind NNE from 9-19 km/h with gusts up to 25 km/h.