The inaugural Montreal Championship at Club de golf Fontainebleau in Blainville, Que., is promising to be a shootout on the final day.
John Cook, the 1983 Canadian Open champion, will look to notch his second career win in this country. Cook matched his opening day six-under 66 and sits at 12-under with a one-shot lead over Russ Cochran, who posted a 68.
D.A. Weibring set a course record 63, two shots better than the old mark, to get to nine-under and within striking range, along with seven other players including Craig Stadler (65), Fred Couples (66), Corey Pavin (67), David Frost (68), Larry Mize, (68), James Mason (69) and Peter Senior (68).
After an opening day 71, Victoria’s Jim Rutledge rebounded with a 69 and holds a share of 34th at 4-under.
Following a birdie on his second hole of the day, Cook saved par with a 15-footer on three. On the par five seventh, he knocked a five iron to seven feet before cashing in the eagle putt.
Despite missing just two greens in his first two days, Cook knows he will need another low round Sunday. A quick look over his shoulder should give him all the incentive he needs.
“There are some impressive names there, for sure,” said Cook. “I might be leading, but Sunday is the telling day. I really won’t worry about anything until the back side. If I can give myself chances, I can’t ask for anything more than that.
“These guys won’t lay down and I’m not going to lay down.”
Cochran faltered with a double-bogey on four followed by a bogey on the sixth. He settled down to record birdies on eight and nine and played his final 11 holes at five-under. With just 50 putts in two days, Cochran admits his putter is bailing him out.
“I’m really happy with the way I made some putts to get going,” Cochran said. “Overall, I didn’t play great, but I got the ball in the hole pretty well. The putter’s the best it’s been all year.”
Making just his second Champions Tour start, Mark Calcavecchia made a Saturday charge, but didn’t do it the easy way. When his day was over, his scorecard featured an eagle, seven birdies and three bogeys.
At eight under, Calcavecchia is looking for his third win in Canada after triumphs at the 1997 Greater Vancouver Open and 2005 Canadian Open.
Couples eagled the par five seventh and added four more birdies on his back nine, including a 10-footer on the closing hole.
“I’m now back in the tournament and I’m in great shape for (Sunday),” Couples said. “I can only do what I can do and today was a better day to move myself up the leaderboard and give myself a shot to win tomorrow.
“There were a lot of people out there, which is a lot of fun,” he added. “This is a phenomenal event, as good as or better than any of our big tournaments we play. I’m pretty sure they’re going to break a record with people out here for the week.”