Fishburn takes two-stroke lead into final round of the Canada Life Championship
September 14, 2019
By Brendan Stasiewich, PGATOUR.COM
- September 14, 2019
- Patrick Fishburn fired a third-round 64 to grab a two-stroke lead on Saturday. (Claus Andersen/Mackenzie Tour)
LONDON, ONT — Making five birdies and an eagle on Saturday at Highland Country Club, Patrick Fishburn posted a third-round 64 to take a two-stroke lead over Jeremy Paul into the final round of the Canada Life Championship, the final event on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada schedule.
Fishburn, who began the week with a 66, has improved his score by one shot each day and looks to pick up his first Mackenzie Tour victory Sunday, which would move him into the top 10 on the Order of Merit and secure Korn Ferry Tour membership for the 2020 season.
“[The Order of Merit] is definitely in my head,” said the 27-year old. “I know I’m about $300 shy of the 10th spot, which is so important, but there’s not much I can do but take it one shot at a time and go from there.”
Opening his day with an eagle on the first hole, Fishburn cruised through the rest of the front nine before making five birdies on his final 10 holes to sign for his best career Mackenzie Tour score.
“I’ll keep sticking to what I’ve been doing,” said Fishburn. “I’ve been hitting it consistent tee to green and getting a lot of chances from eight to 12 feet, so I’ll keep doing that and will have a good shot tomorrow.”
This isn’t Fishburn’s first solid performance at the Canada Life Championship. The Brigham Young University alum proved himself in 2018 when he posted four-consecutive sub-70 scores to tie for ninth.
“I love it here a lot,” said Fishburn. “It’s almost identical to the course I play back home, the Ogden Country Club, with lots of doglegs, which allows me to work the ball both directions, which I like to do.”
In two seasons on the Mackenzie Tour, Fishburn had made each of his 17 cuts before last week at the Mackenzie Investments Open, when a 74-70 start sent him and his wife, Madison, touring the Montreal streets.
“Maybe that was a good thing,” said Fishburn. “It gave me a couple days off to relax and regroup with my wife.”
Fishburn heads into the final round in a pairing alongside Paul, who Fishburn played a practice round with before the event.
Meanwhile, Canadian Taylor Pendrith struggled down the stretch Saturday, making four bogeys in his final five holes to move back into a tie for eighth.
As it currently stands, Paul Barjon, currently in 28th place, is projected to win the Player of the Year award by a little more than $1,000.
- Highland Country Club only has three par-5s. Fifty-four-hole leader Patrick Fishburn is 7-under on those holes, with an eagle and five birdies. On the five par-3 holes at Highland, Fishburn is a combined 3-under.
- Chris O’Neill’s 64-63 showing over his last 36 holes are his two best consecutive rounds this season. The 64 also matched the 64 he fashioned at the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open. The 63 on Saturday represents his career-low round. Even with a win, O’Neill cannot mathematically break into the top five on the Order of Merit, but he could get inside the top 10.
- Prior to making four bogeys in-a-row from hole Nos. 14-17 on Saturday, Taylor Pendrith’s worst stretch of holes this season was a bogey-double bogey-bogey, 4-over stretch he had in the final round of the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open.
- Ian Holt matched his career-low Mackenzie Tour 18-hole score Saturday. His 62 at Highland Country Club came courtesy of nine birdies and a bogey. He previously shot 62 in the third round of the GolfBC Championship in June. Holt went on to tie for 18th that week. Holt will begin Sunday tied for eighth.
- Second-round leader Brian Carlson had a difficult day following his career-low 60 Friday. Following a par-par start, Carlson double-bogeyed the par-3 third hole and also had a pair of bogeys on the 11th and 12th holes. He made a late birdie, at No. 18, to shoot a 2-over 72. He’s tied for sixth.
- Canadian Riley Wheeldon shot a third-round, 6-under 64. It was his second 64 of the season (first round, Windsor Championship). His low score this season was his tournament-opening 63 at the ATB Financial Classic.
- Prior to the second round, Wheeldon had played four-consecutive rounds even par or worst (three over-par rounds and an even-par 72). He opened with a 1-over 71 before his 67-64 over the last 36 holes.
- Venezuela’s Jorge Garcia has had an up-and-down three days, opening with a 66, followed by a 73 and a 64 on Saturday. He’s at 7-under and tied for 15th.
- Jorge Garcia’s nine-stroke improvement from the second round to the third round was the best of the day.
- Lorens Chan, No. 4 on the Order of Merit, has played 40 of his last 41 rounds at par or better. He fired an even-par 72 in the third round of the Osprey Valley Open and an even-par 70 to open this week. He also suffered a 4-over 76 in the final round of the Players Cup. Everything else has been under par, with 34 of those rounds in the 60s.
“It was similar to yesterday. I hit the ball really well today, which makes it nice and a little bit more stress-free, especially playing late on the weekend. I played well on the front nine and good on the back too, but the putts didn’t drop. You can’t make them all, but I’m happy to grind it out even if the putts aren’t dropping.” – Jeremy Paul
“The wind came from a totally different side today, so I felt like it played a little bit more difficult because the par-5s weren’t as gettable as the last few days. You had to grind it out to make birdies. Even though the weather was nicer, it played a bit more difficult.” – Jeremy Paul
“I try not to look much at other people, I try to play my best, and if it ends up being even-par then that’s even-par or if it happens to be 9-under like [Friday], it’s awesome. You can’t really control your score; you can just hit good shots, and if it ends up being a good round then it’s a good round.” – Jeremy Paul
“I’m looking forward to [Sunday]. I can’t really lose much, I’m happy to be in the position, and if I play well I’ll have a chance down the stretch and that would be awesome. If not, then I’m just trying to hit good shots.” – Jeremy Paul
“Where I’m coming from, 31st on the Order of Merit, I can’t lose much, I can only gain. I think I’m playing with my good friend Patrick Fishburn. We played the practice round together and know each other well, and we’ll have a good time out there.” – Jeremy Paul
“We started this trend. We always have a nine-hole match, him and another U.S. player against my brother and I. You should ask him how it’s standing right now after the practice round, but it’ll be nice sharing that moment with a friend.” – Jeremy Paul
“It was nice to play well last week, to lock up a top-25 spot, which took a little bit of the stress off this week because I don’t have anything to lose. That freed me up to try to play well to get into the top 10. I need a top-three finish to do that, but I don’t have anything to lose so I’m playing free. I’ve played here two times before, so I know the course well and I’m pretty comfortable.” – David Pastore
“Q-School is just the most stressful week that you can have. Even first stage, which isn’t as difficult as second stage, aside from all the financial benefits of not having to travel for a week, that’s a couple thousand dollars right there. It’s huge, and it gives me a couple months to get ready for second stage. I might even try for European Tour Q-School because I’ve opened up the next month or so. Getting through second is even more important, and that’s why I’m going to try my hardest [Sunday].” – David Pastore
“I wanted to shoot 9-under to get to double digits. I had a putt at it on the last hole, but it just didn’t fall.” – Ian Holt
“I hit the ball really well and never put myself in any bad positions. I kind of short-sided myself a lot over the past two days, but today I gave myself as many opportunities as I could, and I made the most of it.” – Ian Holt
“I felt like I wasn’t playing that bad, but I was playing maximum golf where I would hit a good drive and then hit it to 40 feet, so I was trying to give myself as many opportunities as I could. I like the style of this course a lot. It’s an older style, and they keep the rough up, so if you hit it there it’s a shot-and-a-half penalty.” – Ian Holt
“The first two days I was playing a bit scared, and today I came out and freewheeled it, and I’m going to do the same thing [Sunday], just trying to make as many birdies as I can.” – Ian Holt