Brad Clapp of Chilliwack, B.C., birdied the final two holes at Loyalist Golf and Country Club on Saturday to shoot a four-under 68 and maintain his lead at The Great Waterway Classic.
Clapp, who was born in nearby Trenton, Ontario and raised for the first 10 years of his life in southeastern Ontario, maintained the two-shot lead he began the day with, capping his round with a two-putt birdie on the par five 18th to get to18-under through 54 holes at the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada event.
“It always feels good finishing birdie-birdie, especially to keep the lead. I didn’t really feel like I had my best today, so watching that leaderboard, I knew I had some work to do,” said Clapp, whose closing birdie came after another at the 17th, where he stuck a wedge inside 10 feet and rolled in the putt for birdie.
Clapp, 28, was two strokes ahead of American Tom Moore through three rounds and said he was surprised when he saw his name atop the leaderboard on the back nine with so many low scores posted earlier in the morning.
“I’m actually surprised that 18 under is still in the lead, knowing how good these guys are. I expected to start the day without the lead,” said Clapp.
“This tour’s so good, and watching the scores this week has been crazy. I kind of thought I’d be chasing guys when I get on the first tee,” he added.
The 54-hole lead is Clapp’s first on the Mackenzie Tour, putting him in unfamiliar territory. Still, Clapp said he would draw on other successful competitive experiences, including wins at the 2012 PGA of BC Championship and the Vancouver Open on the Vancouver Golf Tour earlier this month.
“That (Vancouver Open win) was a come-from-behind victory, so this would be a little bit different, but having the taste of success is huge no matter what level you’re on,” said Clapp.
“I’ve been struggling to keep my mental game in shape all year, so it’s nice that I can draw from this round, not having my best, but still staying calm and patient and just plugging along. It’s a huge confidence boost,” he said.
The leaderboard is here.