Calgary, Alberta — Steve Flesch wasn’t as sharp on the greens, yet still managed to move into first place at the Shaw Charity Classic.
After coming within a shot of the course record with an opening 62 at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club, Flesch carded a 2-under 68 on Saturday for a one-stroke lead at 10 under in the PGA Tour Champions event.
“Today I played just as well as yesterday, but I didn’t hole any putts,” said Flesch, who had a chance at eagle on the par-5, 18th hole, but settled for birdie. “Hopefully I’ll convert some more birdies, because I expect it will take a pretty good round to win.”
Flesch’s birdie on the final hole of the par-70, 7,086-yard layout gave him a one-shot lead over Tom Gillis (Lake Orion) and Wes Short Jr. heading into Sunday’s final round.
“I’m surprised I’m leading,” Flesch said. “I expected if I shot 2 under today, I would have lost some ground.”
Gillis made six birdies on his front nine and played his final nine in par for a round of 6-under 64.
“The first hole, I hit it right of the green and I was like, here we go again, and then chipped it in, which none of that’s been happening,” said Gillis, who admitted he’s been struggling with his game all season. “So, that’s kind of how it started. It put me in a good frame of mind.”
Gillis moved from 21st place into a tie for second spot with Short at 9 under.
“I’m going to try to do whatever I did today, that’s it,” Gillis said. “Not overthink it and play free, just go from there. We’ll see what happens. I don’t really have any expectations the way the year’s been so far.”
Short birdied the 18th to get into Sunday’s final grouping with Flesch and Gillis.
“I like the course, it suits me well,” said Short, who followed an opening 64 with a 67. “I’ve got a chance to win the tournament. That’s all you want going into the last day.”
Tom Byrum had a 69 and was alone in fourth place at 8 under.
Michael Bradley, who tied the course record with an opening 61, was in a seven-way tie for fifth at 7 under. Included in the logjam were two-time Shaw Charity Classic champion Scott McCarron (69), Corey Pavin (67). Gibby Gilbert (63), Ken Duke (68), Tim Petrovic (69) and Billy Andrade (69).
At Portland, Oregon, Monday qualifier Yealimi Noh shot an 8-under 64 for a three-shot lead heading into the final round of the Portland Classic.
The 18-year-old Noh, who turned down an offer to play for UCLA and instead went pro in February, made eight birdies and moved to 19 under at Columbia-Edgewater Country Club. Hannah Green of Australia is second at 16 under after a third-round 73.
Canadian Brooke Henderson and Brittany Altomare were two strokes back of Green heading into the final day. Altomare is on the U.S. Solheim Cup team, which heads to Scotland for the biennial match-play team competition at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles on Sept. 13-15.
World No. 1 Jin Young Ko was in a group at 7 under. The South Korean is a four-time winner this year, including two major championships. Defending champion Marina Alex, also on the Solheim team, was in a group at 8 under.
Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster did not make the cut in Portland, along with Solheim players Morgan Pressel, Jessica Korda, Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis.
At Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Rory McIlroy cited tiredness in a busy trans-Atlantic week after dropping shots late in the European Masters third round with Andres Romero in the lead by one stroke.
McIlroy bogeyed the 14th, 17th and 18th in a 1-under-par 69, while Argentina’s Romero went birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie from the 13th in his round of 66.
Romero’s 14-under total of 196 is one ahead of second-place Wade Ormsby of Australia, who bogeyed the par-4 18th for a 67.
Tommy Fleetwood (68) and second-round leader Gavin Green (69) are on 12 under, two shots off the lead and tied for third.