Saturday's roundup: Countryman Hearn leads Canadian Open
Oakville, Ontario — David Hearn moved into position to become the first Canadian to win the Canadian Open in 61 years, taking a two-stroke lead over Bubba Watson and Jason Day on Saturday.
Hearn, from Brantford, birdied the par-3 15th and par-5 16th, but dropped a stroke on the par-4 17th and closed with a par for a 4-under 68 and a 15-under 201 total at Glen Abbey.
“This is something you dream of,” Hearn said. “I feel like I’m ready to step up to the challenge.”
Pat Fletcher, born in England, was the last Canadian winner in 1954 at Point Grey in Vancouver, British Columbia. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914. Albert Murray, a Canadian also born in England, won in 1908 and 1913.
Hearn and Watson will play in the final group Sunday. Hearn sees himself as the underdog.
“Hopefully, I can make some birdies and David can beat Goliath,” Hearn said.
Watson called himself “half-Canadian” because wife Angie is from Pickering.
“Truthfully, let’s be honest, we don’t think about where somebody’s from,” Watson said. “All we think about is there’s a guy in front of us. I’ve got a couple family members. They’re going to pull for me, too.”
Hearn is the first Canadian to have a 54-hole lead at the Canadian Open since Mike Weir in 2004 at Glen Abbey. Weir led by three shots, but lost in a playoff to Vijay Singh.
Hearn began the third round three strokes behind Chad Campbell after shooting a 64 on Friday.
Watson also had a 68, and Day shot 69. Brian Stuard (Jackson) shot 70 Saturday to finish tied for 48th at 5-under 211. Tom Gillis (Lake Orion) closed at 73 and is tied for 70th with a 2-under 214 total.
Watson eagled the par-5 13th, made a bogey on the par-4 14th and rallied with birdies on 16 and the par-5 18th.
“I’m right where I want to be,” Watson said. “I just wish the leader was a little closer to us.”
Day, coming off a tie for fourth Monday in the British Open, dropped three strokes with a bogey on the par-4 10th and double bogey on the par-4 11th, then birdied six of the last seven holes.
“Obviously, it’d be great to see a Canadian win, but I’m going to do my best to try and spoil that,” Day said. “We’re all out here to try and win a golf tournament.”
Michael Putnam and Brooks Koepka were tied for fourth at 12 under. They each shot 68.
Campbell followed his second-round 63 with a 75 to fall into a tie for sixth at 11 under.
Two-time champion Jim Furyk (68) also was 11 under along with Camilo Villegas (67), Emiliano Grillo (69) and Johnson Wagner (72).
Former Georgia Tech player Ollie Schniederjans was tied for 11th at 10 under after a 66 in his pro debut. He tied for 12th in the British Open.
Senior British Open
Colin Montgomerie and Marco Dawson share the lead at 10 under in the suspended third round of the Senior British Open.
Darkness stopped play, five hours after the delayed start of the round at Sunningdale’s Old Course. The second round, suspended Friday because of rain, wasn’t completed until Saturday afternoon.
Montgomerie and Dawson each had nine holes left in the third round. Fred Couples and Philip Walton were tied for second at 8 under. Couples had seven holes left, and Walton one to go.
Defending champion Bernard Langer was 7 under with nine holes remaining.
England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick shot a 6-under 64 for a share of the European Masters lead with countryman Danny Willett.
Fitzpatrick matched Willett at 12-under 198. Willett, the second-round leader, had a 71.
France’s Raphael Jacquelin was third at 10 under after a 68.
Defending champion David Lipsky of the United States followed at 9 under after a 69. Fellow American Patrick Reed was tied for 16th at 5 under after a 69.