Jack Newman of Des Moines, Iowa, set a course record at Point Grey Golf and Country Club on Saturday, carding an 11-under 61 to take a one-stroke lead heading into the final round of the PC Financial Open.
Newman leads by one of Brad Clapp of Chilliwack, B.C., in PGA Tour Canada’s season opener.
Two shots back in a tie for third were North Vancouver’s Eugene Wong, the 36-hole leader, and Joel Dahmen of Clarkston, Wash.
“I didn’t even look at the scoreboards once today. I knew I was up there and I knew I was around the lead. We’re just going to keep the same mindset going in to (Sunday’s final round) and hopefully have some fun,” said Newman.
Clapp admits he’s certain to face nerves on Sunday, but adds he’ll be able to draw on how well he handled the most pressure-packed situation of his career less than a month ago at the B.C. Qualifying Tournament at Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community.
That’s where Clapp played his way into a six-for-one playoff for exempt status, and carded birdies on two of the three playoff holes to lock up his spot on PGA Tour Canada for 2014.
“That was basically playing for my season. I know a good conditional card is fine, but that was with my whole season and my whole career on the line,” said Clapp, the 2012 PGA of B.C. champion.
“I don’t know if there will be more pressure than that playoff. We’ll see (Sunday),” he said.
Wong struggled to reproduce the magic that earned him the outright lead through 36 holes on Saturday, but he was upbeat about his chances for Sunday.
“I like this spot because I feel like I have to chase the leaders and I like that because I can be a lot more aggressive,” said Wong, a two-time winner on PGA Tour Canada. “That’s my style. I’m a very aggressive player when I need to turn it on.”
Wong’s up-and-down day included a double bogey on the par three second and back-to-back bogeys on 13 and 14, but he rebounded with birdies on 16 and 18 to finish with a one-under 71 on the day, two off the lead.
“I grinded it out, especially after those back-to-back bogeys,” said Wong. “(The birdies on 16 and 18) were pretty significant because now I’m only two shots back, so I’m in the hunt to win,” he said.
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