Weather once again stormed into Glen Abbey, but the RBC Canadian Open made it to the midway point of the tournament with Jason Dufner atop the leaderboard at 13-under, one ahead of Jerry Kelly and Scott Verplank and two up on Nathan Green and Peter Tomasulo.
For the third consecutive day, an afternoon storm blew in and play was called for the day during a torrential downpour that left the Abbey as a quagmire.
Tournament organizers are using a modified cut, with the top 64 players teeing off at 6:45 a.m. Sunday morning in threesomes. The plan is to start the fourth round at 12:05 p.m., with the last tee time of the fourth round taking place around 1:55 p.m., assuming there are no more rain delays.
“The information we’ve gotten is 50 per cent chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon, so it looks like the morning is going to be pretty good,” said PGA Tour official Steve Carman, adding that the tournament would be extended into Monday, if necessary.
Dufner took advantage of a soft Glen Abbey to post an impressive 63.
“There wasn’t any wind at all,” said Dufner. “Obviously, with as much rain as we’ve had, the conditions are very soft, so the ball’s not chasing out in the fairway and, if you’re inside 170 yards, you can get pretty aggressive at the pins and get a lot of those birdie putts.”
Dufner says he was feeling confident after a solid first round 68.
“The first day, I played great. I probably hit it a little better the first day than today, so I was confident going into today,” he said.
“I holed a pretty long putt on the third hole and hit it really close on five and then, made another long one on nine. The back nine’s got three par fives, so once I made a couple of putts and realized maybe today was going to be a little better putting day than the first day, I had an indication that I could shoot a low score.”
A low score was also in the cards for veteran Mark Calcavecchia, who reeled off nine consecutive birdies to set a PGA Tour record.
“That was certainly fun,” said the 2005 winner of the Canadian Open at Shaughnessy in Vancouver. “I just got on a great streak. I knew I needed to play a good round just to make the cut. I made no putts on Thursday.
“(The course) was as soft as you can possibly get, I had casual water a few times. There are still quite a few puddles out there, but the drives were plugging and the iron shot – three irons were stopping dead,” he said before yesterday’s storm blew in.
“It’s just fly it right to the stick,” he added. “You give the guys out here no wind and greens that are plugging, you’re going to see a lot of low scores,” said Calcavecchia.
For a full leaderboard, see the website, www.rbccanadianopen.com.