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Ben Silverman takes two-stroke lead over 2019 champion Rafael Campos at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic

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Ben Silverman takes two-stroke lead over 2019 champion Rafael Campos at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic


    Written by Staff @PGATOUR

    Things to Know

    Ben Silverman, a Korn Ferry Tour member playing from the Past Champion 5-10 Years category this season and as a sponsor exemption this week, cards a 5-under 67 and reaches 13-under par for the tournament to carry a two-stroke lead into Wednesday’s final round

    Silverman is bidding for his second career Korn Ferry Tour victory (2017 Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper)

    Silverman is also bidding to become the first sponsor exemption to win a Korn Ferry Tour event since Martin Trainer won the 2018 El Bosque Mexico Championship

    Past champion Rafael Campos (2019) ties the low round of the tournament with a 7-under 65 (Silverman and Tom Whitney in Round 2) and rises to solo second

    Campos’ third round included an eagle at the par-5 eighth, his field-leading third eagle of the tournament (par-5 first and eighth in first round)

    Cody Blick (T3 / -9) cards an even-par 72 and has stood solo sixth or higher after all seven rounds of the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour season

    Defending champion Brandon Harkins falls from T11 to T33 following a 1-over 73 in the third round

    The second round resumed at 7:20 a.m. ET and was completed prior to the start of the third round, with the 36-hole cut being made at 1-over par and 70 players advancing to the final two rounds

    Final-round tee times will run in groups of three from 6:55 a.m. through 11:15 a.m. off the first tee

    Charting the Leader (stats entering the week)

    CategoryBen Silverman
    Age35 (November 15, 1987)
    2022 Korn Ferry Tour Points ListNo. 157
    Starts – wins – top-10s on Korn Ferry Tour (Career)85-1-6
    Starts – wins – top-10s on PGA TOUR (Career)59-0-2
    Starts – wins – top-10s on Korn Ferry Tour (2022)7-0-0
    Starts – wins – top-10s at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic2-0-0

    Ben Silverman (Leader / -13)

    Holds his second career 54-hole lead in a Korn Ferry Tour event and first since carrying a one-stroke lead into the final round of the 2017 Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper (won by one stroke)

    A native of Ontario, Canada, turned professional in 2010 and played two seasons on PGA TOUR Canada (2014, 2015) before he earned Korn Ferry Tour membership via Final Stage of 2015 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament

    Graduated from the Korn Ferry Tour following the 2017 season, which featured five top-10s and 10 top-25s, including a win at the Price Cutter Charity Championship and T2 at the WinCo Foods Portland Open

    Finished No. 136 in the 2017-18 FedExCup Standings on the PGA TOUR and retained status as a member of The Finals 25 with a T3 at the 2018 Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance, his last top-10 in PGA TOUR-sanctioned play

    Relegated to the Korn Ferry Tour for the 2020-21 season following a No. 181 finish in the 2018-19 FedExCup Standings on TOUR

    Played the past two seasons on the Korn Ferry Tour (2020-21, 2022) with Past Champion status, but has only made 39 starts out of a possible 72 events due to his place in the priority ranking

    Represented Canada and won the men’s golf competition at the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel

    Played competitive ice hockey until he was about 15 years old and shot 118 in his first Canadian Junior Golf Association tournament

    Rafael Campos (2nd / -11)

    In Tuesday’s third round, front nine featured birdies on the par-4 fifth and par-3 sixth, as well as an eagle on the par-5 eighth, while his back nine featured four birdies (Nos. 12, 14, 15 and 16) and his lone bogey of the day at the par-4 13th

    One of nine players who made the cut with a triple bogey or worse this week (triple bogeyed par-4 fifth; Campos and Max Greyserman (T5 / -8) are the only two who sit higher than T27 through the third round

    Making his 165th start this week across the PGA TOUR (53) and Korn Ferry Tour (112), stands solo second or higher through 54 holes for the fourth time in his career (T1 at 2021 Corales Puntacana Championship [PGA TOUR] / finished T2; T1 at 2021 Puerto Rico Open / finished T3; T1 at 2017 Corales Puntacana Championship [Korn Ferry Tour] / finished T3)

    Playing out of the Past Champion 3-4 Years category for the 2023 season via his win at the 2019 The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club, his only PGA TOUR-sanctioned victory

    Finished No. 164 on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Points List, recording just five made cuts in 20 starts

    Graduated from the Korn Ferry Tour following the 2019 season off the strength of his victory, playing the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons on the PGA TOUR but finishing outside the top 150 of the FedExCup Standings both seasons

    Represented Puerto Rico in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

    Wife, Stephanie, is caddying for him this week

    Has known Brian Shaver, Director of Golf at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, since he was age 9; Shaver previously worked in Puerto Rico when Campos learned to play golf

    Quotables

    Ben Silverman on playing as a sponsor exemption this week: “I was just, in the first place, very grateful to be given the opportunity for the sponsor exemption. I feel like I deserve it, but I'm very, very grateful. This morning, one of the tournament committee guys was giving me a ride up for me to restart my round, I was like, ‘Hey, thanks, man. I appreciate the invite.’ It was like around end of November (when he got the exemption). I was very pumped.”

    Silverman on the battle of being subject to the reshuffle the last two seasons: it can be a battle not knowing when you're going to get a start. I've just tried to take the attitude of be ready whenever the opportunity comes up. So I've been training, practicing just as hard as if I have a full season and the opportunity came, so I feel ready.

    Past champion Rafael Campos on being in contention for the first time since 2021: “It was just really cool to experience the nerves the last like five holes. Like I said, it's been a long time. I think it was since Corales, the PGA TOUR tournament in Corales, where I finished tied for second. That's when I last was really in contention.”

    Notes

    Tom Whitney (T3 / -9), Max Greyserman (T5 / -8), Mason Andersen (T13 / -6), and Curtis Luck (T13 / -6) are tied for the most total birdies in the field (18 apiece)

    Chase Seiffert (T5 / -8) has the fewest scores of bogey or worse this week (three bogeys)

    Four bogey-free rounds were recorded Tuesday – Joey Garber (T5 / -8), 5-under 67; Ben Kohles (T10 / -7) and Brandon Crick (T22 / -5), 4-under 68s; Chandler Phillips (T22 / -5), 3-under 69

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