Savoie, Travale join Springer atop leaderboard after 54 holes in Manitoba
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“It’s kind of an even race starting tomorrow,” said Springer, who began the third round with a three-shot lead. “There are going to be a ton of birdies. Somebody is going to go super-low and hopefully it can be me.”
Springer, of Trophy Club, Texas, struggled at one-over through the first ten holes, but reeled off three-consecutive birdies to shoot a 70.
“I had to battle a little bit today and didn’t drive it all that well,” Springer said. “I was kind of out of position a little bit and was able to hang in there and get a few on the back nine. I’ll take it.”
Despite a 45-minute fog delay to start the day, players were able to take advantage of the improved weather conditions, as warmer temperatures returned and the gusty wind abated.
“If you would have told me this on Thursday morning that this would be the case going into the last round, I’d be pretty happy with that,” said Travale.
Travale, of Hamilton, Ontario, and Savoie, of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, both had six birdies and one bogey on their cards.
Travale said, “The key was just staying confident. I’ve been hitting it really well this week, putting it really well. I knew the wind would be down, so I kind of just let it come to me and I made some good birdies on the front to get me rolling. Yesterday I was like holding onto the handlebars pretty aggressively.”
Savoie said, “I think the key was not getting ahead of myself. I think mentally I was trying to take it one shot all the time and I think I stuck to my process. And I really committed to my shot very well today. I think the key was more mental than technical.”
Sam Choi shot a 9-under 63 and moved into solo fourth place at 14-under. Tied for fifth at 13-under were Canadian Etienne Papineau, who shot 67, and China’s Charles Wang, who shot 66. First-round leader Devon Bling shot 68 and stands alone in seventh place at 12-under.
Choi, who won the Windsor Championship two weeks ago, had to overcome a bout of food poisoning that kept him up much of the night. The Malibu, California, resident still managed to shoot the low round of the day, and moved up 21 spots.
After a bogey on the third hole, Choi went birdie-eagle to set his round in motion. The eagle was set up by a 5-iron approach and a 35-foot putt. He added seven more birdies, including six on the back nine, where he shot 30. He even saved par at No. 10 after his drive found the deep fescue rough.
“Everything just clicked,” he said. “Every putt was just straight uphill. I was like, ‘Man, this is going in again.’”
Wang is making the most of his second chance. After missing the Monday qualifier by a stroke, Wang got in the field as an alternate. He continued to play his way into the top-10 on Saturday by shooting 6-under. Wang is in line for his first top-10 of the season.
Wang said, “I couldn’t be more blessed to be able to play. It worked out well for me this week and I’ve played pretty well. So far, it’s going my way.”
Closing out the top 10 in a tie for eighth place at 11-under, Canadian Chris Crisologo posted a 65 to join Derek Oland and Brian Carlson of the United States.
With 17 players within six shots of the lead, the final round could evolve into a real shootout.
“I think depending on how you play at the beginning of the round, it can become match play on the back nine or a three-way battle,” Savoie added. “You just have to live in the moment and sometimes you might play more aggressively at the end because it’s just you and another guy. There’s plenty of golf left to play. There’s plenty of guys in the battle.”
Fortinet Cup Standings
|Pos.||Player||Points||Current Tournament Position|
|1||Davis Lamb (United States)||1,117||Cut|
|2||Sam Choi (United States)||1,020||4|
|3||Stuart Macdonald (Canada)||707||DNP|
|4||John Pak (United States)||690||Cut|
|5||Étienne Papineau (Canada)||644||T5|
|6||Devon Bling (United States)||587||7|
|7||Chris Korte (United States)||581||T56|
|8||Davis Shore (United States)||527||T11|
|9||David Kim (United States)||432||T48|
|10||Brian Richey (United States)||404||Cut|
The Fortinet Cup standings should show some movement at the top this week. Points-leader Davis Lamb missed the cut and Sam Choi is expected to move into the lead. Choi is in fourth place, one shot off the lead and only 97 points out of the Fortinet Cup’s top position. Lamb has held the Fortinet Cup points lead since his back-to-back victories in the third and fourth weeks of the season.
With the arrival of a child, No. 3 Stuart Macdonald is sitting out this week and No. 4 John Pak missed the cut. Etienne Papineau, who won the season-opening event, is tied for fifth in the Fortinet Cup standings and will likely move up as well.
The three-way tie for the lead is the most on PGA TOUR Canada since the opening week. Four players were tied after 54 holes of the Royal Beach Victoria Open, which was won by Etienne Papineau.
Derek Oland shot 64, the second-lowest round of the day, and moved up 31 spots and into a tie for ninth. Oland’s bogey-free card included eight birdies, four of them over the final six holes. The veteran is seeking his third top-10 of the season.
“It wasn’t bad. I would have loved to have played a little better. I think my attitude was the key, just kind of hanging in there. Hopefully I can hit it a little better tomorrow and then make some putts.” – Hayden Springer
“If the weather is going to be nice like this, I’m sure it’s going to take another really good round and I guess just take one shot at a time and focus on the shot at hand and maybe I can get it done. I shot 9-under on Thursday, so I know it’s in the tank. I know I have a good chance tomorrow.” – Johnny Travale
“Playing with (Jared du Toit) helped a lot. We’re friends and just kept it loose out there, chatting down the fairway. I like playing with friends in tournaments. It loosens things up a bit for sure.” – Johnny Travale
Third-Round Weather: Mostly cloudy and mild. High of 22. Wind SW at 4-7 kph.