David Skinns jumps in front by two

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pga tour_canada

Brian Decker – PGA Tour Canada

June 8, 2013 – Victoria, BC (ISN) – England’s David Skinns posted a five-under 65 Friday at Uplands Golf Club to break out from a tightly-packed leaderboard and take a two stroke lead through 54 holes at the Times Colonist Island Savings Open.

Skinns’ bogey free round gave him a two-stroke advantage over Nampa, Idaho’s Tyler Aldridge and Marana, Arizona’s Matt Marshall heading into the final round of the first event on the inaugural PGA TOUR Canada schedule.

Times Colonist Island Savings Open – Third Round Leaderboard

1. David Skinns (Lincoln, United Kingdom) – 65-70-65 (-10)

T-2. Tyler Aldridge (Nampa, Idaho) – 67-68-67 (-8)

T-2. Matt Marshall (Marana, Arizona) – 63-70-69 (-8)

4. Stephen Gangluff (Charlottesville, Virginia) 69-68-66 (-7)

5. Nick Taylor (Abbotsford, British Columbia) 67-70-67 (-6)

6. Brock Mackenzie (Yakima, Washington) 68-71-66 (-5)

“Everyone wants to be in the lead. That’s the spot to be,” said Skinns of his 54-hole lead and aspirations of winning the inaugural PGA TOUR Canada event. “That’s exactly what everyone’s looking for, and it’s exactly what I’m looking for this week.”

The start of the third round saw 21 players within five shots of the 36-hole lead held by Marshall, but Skinns’ 10-under total reduced that number to just six, including Aldridge, 2012 PGA TOUR member Stephen Gangluff, Abbotsford, British Columbia’s Nick Taylor and 2010 Times Colonist Island Savings Open winner Brock Mackenzie.

“You need to stick to your game plan, and that’s exactly what I intend to do tomorrow,” said the 31-year old Skinns, playing in his first PGA TOUR Canada event after earning status at Qualifying School in April.

Marshall, playing along Skinns in the day’s final group, produced a one-under par 69 to sit tied for second with Aldridge, who said the calmer conditions made scoring easier at Uplands than Friday’s second round.

“I think yesterday was the toughest day as far as the wind and everything,” said Aldridge, a PGA TOUR member in 2009.

IS IT TAYLOR’S TURN?

One of the favourites to win this week has been Abbotsford, BC’s Nick Taylor, who reeled off five straight wins on the Vancouver Golf Tour earlier this Spring and was in contention at Uplands last year before finishing T-7. Taylor posted a 3-under 67 to sit in fifth place alone heading into Sunday’s final round, putting himself in the hunt for his first win on PGA TOUR Canada.

“If I keep playing like I have I think I’ll have a chance coming down the stretch, and that’s all you can really ask for going into Sunday. I’m happy with where I am,” said Taylor. “I’ll probably have to shoot another good round tomorrow but at least I’ll have a chance.”

A former no. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Taylor said he’s hoping to find himself in the mix for his first PGA TOUR Canada win in front of friends and family on Sunday.

“My parents came over for the weekend, and I have a lot of friends from the Vancouver area, Abbotsford and even Vancouver Island out here,” said the 25-year old Taylor. “I’m not going to worry about a score, I’m just going to try and shoot as low as I can.”

GANGLUFF LOOKING FOR WIN IN RETURN TO CANADA

Stephen Gangluff made six cuts on the PGA TOUR in 2012, but when he was unable to retain status for this season, the 2006 PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit winner said returning to play north of the border was an easy decision.

“I like it up here, I really do,” said Gangluff, who won two times in Canada in 2006. “They do a great job up here, and with the PGA TOUR (running) it now it’s just going to get even better.”

Gangluff made six birdies in a round of 4-under par 66, sitting alone in fourth at 7-under total.

BROCK ‘N’ ROLL

After a difficult 2012 season that saw him make two cuts in just three starts in Canada, Brock Mackenzie looks to be returning to the form that saw him capture the Times Colonist Island Savings Open at Uplands in 2010.

“I have good vibes around this place,” said Mackenzie, who shot a 4-under 66 to reach 5-under overall, good enough for sixth place alone. The former First Team All-American at the University of Washington is one of two former Times Colonist Island Savings Open winners to make the cut, along with 2006 winner Mike Grob, who sits tied for 52nd through 54 holes at 4-over par.

Notes:

– Weather: Sunny, 18 degrees Celsius, winds 18 km/h gusting to 33 km/h

– Tyler Aldridge (67-68-67), Stephen Gangluff (69-68-66) and Scott Petersen (69-68-69) are the only players to shoot in the 60s all three rounds.

– The third round of the Times Colonist Island Savings Open will begin at 8:10 AM on Saturday, with players going off the first tee in twosomes.

– Four Canadians, all from British Columbia, were in the top 10. Joining Nick Taylor were Comox’s Riley Wheeldon, Nanaimo’s Darren Griff and Surrey’s Devin Carrey, all tied for seventh at 4-under par.

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