Joel Dahmen of Clarkson, Wash., shot a four-under 64 at Fort McMurray Golf Club to take a five-stroke lead into the final round of the Syncrude Boreal Open.
The PGA Tour Canada Order of Merit leader started with birdies on two of his first three holes to break away from the field on a day when play was reduced to 17 holes after tournament officials took the ninth hole out of play due to standing water on the green.
Dahmen led by five over Tim Madigan of Las Cruces, N.M., and by six over Daniel McCarthy of Syracuse, N.Y. and defending champion Riley Wheeldon of Comox, B.C.
“I didn’t make a bogey today, which is huge. It was kind of a goal of mine,” said Dahmen, who has made just two bogeys for the week and is without one in his last 35 holes.
“It’s far from over,” said Dahmen.
“One swing and you make double or triple and a guy makes birdie and it’s back to square one. If I go out (Sunday) and shoot four or five under and play well, it’s going to be very difficult for somebody to catch me and that’s going to be the plan,” he said.
Wheeldon, the defending champion, is at 13 under par and has already matched his winning score from 2013. He says Dahmen’s lead has left his chasers with no choice but to play for as many birdies as possible.
“Joel was so far ahead that it pretty much released the reins on the rest of the field,” said Wheeldon.
“You have to go out there and make birdies. The difficulty of this golf course is off the tee, keeping it in play. When you don’t really have pressure, you can go out and swing away and be aggressive,” he said.
For scores, click here.
On the PGA Tour, Graham DeLaet shot a one-over 71 at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Ct., and goes into Sunday’s final round at one under, 12 shots behind leader Ryan Moore.
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At the Encompass Championship in Glenview, Ill., Rod Spittle was also one over on Saturday after firing a 73 that left him at three under for the tournament, 10 behind leader Tom Lehman at that Champions Tour event.
For those scores, click here.