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RBC Canadian Open Rd 3, Robert Garrigus Leads

 

Happy place

Robert Garrigus/Stan Badz/PGA TOUR

 

Big hitting Robert Garrigus leads the RBC Canadian open after shooting a third round of -6 under par 64, for a tournament total of -16 under par, and also broke the 54-hole scoring record at the RBC Canadian Open, that was set more than a half-century ago by Arnold Palmer .Robert  was one shot better than Arnold, who set the record in 1955 at Weston Golf & Country Club, and this was matched two years ago by Dean Wilson at St. George’s Golf & Country Club. Arnold went on to win in 1955, giving him the first of his 62 PGA TOUR titles.  The average distance off the tee this week by Robert is over 320 yards, leaving himself some short irons into the soft receptive greens at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ontario, and he has taken full advantage of these conditions.

Robert has a one shot lead over William McGirt, whose third round was a steady -4 under par 66, and he is in good position to challenge for his first win on Tour.

In third place, by himself, is another consistent player this week, Scott Piercy, his third round was a -3 under par 67, which left him just two shots from the top of the leaderboard.

There are three players tied for fourth spot, Bo Van Pelt, Scott Stallings and Captain Kirk. Both Scott and Captain Kirk fired in rounds of -7 under par 63, and in that kind of form are certainly in contention. Scott managed to birdie six of seven holes on the front nine, including four in a row at one point, he said afterwards;

“It was a dream start, that front nine, everything was going right. I always had the theory that you always have these days when the putts are going in the middle of the hole and everything’s working out, so you have to get as many as you can on the days you have it.”

The way this course is playing the final outcome is far from certain, with just about anyone in the top ten at the moment with a chance of lifting the trophy, I expect to see someone else shoot a 62 in the final round.

RBC Canadian Lift,Clean & Place Open

TOUR Report: RBC Canadian

William McGirt & Scott Piercy/getty images

Once again they are playing lift, clean and place at the RBC Canadian Open on the Hamilton G&CC, with William McGirt and Scott Piercy sharing the lead after round two. Scott could not match yesterdays recording equaling round, but his -3 under par 67 got him to -11 under par and still top of the board. Sharing that spot is William McGirt, whose -4 under par 66 went nicely with his first round 63 and also on -11 for the tournament. Tim Clark had the best round of the day, another record equaling -8 under par 62 and tied for fourth place, with Vijay Singh. Alone in third spot is Robert Garrigus, with a tournament total of -10 under par.

Scott spoke about the pressure of coming off a 62;

“You shoot 62 and think, oh, I’ve got it. You expect to shoot another 62, which is;  to shoot 62, you’ve got to have things going for you. You’ve got to be making the putts. You’ve got to get the right bounces. I think you’ve got to be realistic with your expectations. When I shot 62, my expectation was to hit fairways and greens, and it just happened. Knowing that it’s generally tough to follow up a course record, I just wanted to hit a bunch of greens, a bunch of fairways, and let it happen again. I like to be aggressive and shoot at things, because the greens are so severe in spots, you want to be below the hole, putting up into them. Here it’s more playing for pars and hoping that the birdies fall.”

William McGirt is relishing the uncharted territory he finds himself in;

” I’ve never been in this position out here, I was in the next to last group at Tampa this year. It was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it. Yesterday it seemed like I hit a lot of really good iron shots. I did hit a couple close today, but I wasn’t quite as close yesterday, so it was a little tougher to make putts. But I did sneak it by them on 8 in the front of the green, so it was a bonus. All in all it was pretty solid. Hit a lot of fairways and greens, and fortunately I made some putts.”

This year Tim Clark has managed to miss the cut four times and was disqualified from another event, this was all due to him recovering from wrist surgery, he said of his round today;

” The only way to get better was to come out here and play tournament golf. I could feel I was getting better every round I played. I don’t think I came back too soon, I think it’s what I needed to do. Obviously being soft you’re able to go at a lot of flags and make a lot of birdies.”

With all these record breaking scores and the easy soft course conditions, you have to wonder why the authorities allowed these top professional players to, lift, clean and place. Professional players will always take advantage of easy conditions, why make even easier for them. This competition is the Canadian Open, a searching test of golf for the best of players, well it’s not much of a test at the moment. Even at my club, Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club, we never play lift, clean and place, it is always play the ball as it lies.

Given the easy conditions it is sad to see Canadian Mike Weir missing the cut of -1 under par, in his national tournament, but he is not alone in the big name casualties. Last weeks Open Champion Ernie Els has also missed the cut this week, much to everybody’s surprise.

Mike has failed to make the cut in all his eleven starts this year and does not seem to know what the problem is, or how to fix it;

” I don’t know,I need a little time to think about it, and see what I can draw on it and see what we can get ready for next week.”

RBC Canadian Open, Scott Piercy shoots 62, to lead

Scott Piercy/NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Scott Piercy shot a record equaling opening round of  62 to lead the RBC Canadian Open by just one shot at the Hamilton G&CC · Ancaster, Ontario, Canada course. He leads by  one stroke from England’s Greg Owen and William McGirt of America. Scott said about his opening effort;

 ” Hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens today. I was rolling the ball well, and obviously you gotta make some putts, too. I hit it solid out there. I think I only missed a couple of greens, and ball striking round here with the rough being so penal is a must to shoot well.”

Greg Owen was happy with the way he putted today;

” Obviously I putted pretty well. I think you shoot 63 you have to putt well, so that was the strength of my game today, which is unusual. You know, just gotta keep it in play, hit the fairways. It’s not a long golf course. Hit the fairways and then give yourself as many chances as you can, and that’s what I did today. Got off to a rough start, but I played pretty solid from then on.”

els11.jpg

Ernie Els 2012 Open Champion/Martin/Getty Images

Ernie was off target toady;

“It’s a scoring golf course if you get it in play, which I didn’t do enough of today. It’s not that I didn’t have some great chances, I was just a bit sluggish today, trying to find that rhythm to my swing that I had last Sunday at the British Open. But, it wasn’t quite there today.”

Ernie finished the day at +2 over par, alongside Canadian favorite Mike Weir. They will both need to put in great rounds tomorrow if they want to contest this title.

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