April 18, 2014, Reunion, Fla. (ISN) – Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Ryan Brehm shot a 1-under 71 at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Reunion Resort on Friday to take the lead through three rounds at PGA TOUR Canada’s Florida Qualifying Tournament.
The 28-year old was the only player at even par or better through 54 holes and held a one shot lead over Syracuse, New York’s Dan McCarthy.
Third round leaderboard – Florida Qualifying Tournament (Bold denotes Canadian)
1. Ryan Brehm – 71 (E)
2. Dan McCarthy – 72 (+1)
3. Richard McDonald – 70 (+2)
T-4. Jeff Dennis – 71 (+3)
T-4. Bruce Woodall – 71 (+3)
T-6. Christian Westhorpe – 72 (+4)
T-6. Jordan Krantz – 71 (+4)
5 others at +4
The third round was completed on Friday following delays originally caused by thunderstorms on Tuesday, with more storms causing a two-hour delay on Friday. The fourth round began late Friday evening and will resume at 8 A.M. on Saturday.
18 players will earn conditional status on PGA TOUR Canada for 2014, with the rest of the top 40 plus ties earning conditional status. Brehm, a Michigan State University grad, was the only player at level par or better through three rounds on the demanding Nicklaus course.
“I got off to a bit of a bad start with a bogey on the first hole, but I kept it together and was able to make enough birdies to keep myself in it,” said Brehm, who made birdie at the par-5 18th to shoot a 1-under 71 and take the lead through 54 holes. “Anything under par on this course is pretty darn good. You’ve got to use your brain and really play some smart golf.”
The cut-off for exempt status through 54 holes sat at 6-over par, with five players tied for 17th – a scenario that would produce a five players-for-two spots playoff. The number for conditional status sat at 10-over, with 42 players tied for 35th or better heading into Saturday.
Toronto, Ontario’s Christian Westhorpe and Vermillion Bay, Ontario’s Jordan Krantz were the top Canadians, tied for sixth at 4-over, while Baddeck, Nova Scotia’s Peter Campbell was also in position to earn an exempt card. Other Canadians in the top 40 included Essex, Ontario’s David Byrne (T-26, +8) and Thornhill, Ontario’s Mark Hoffman (T-31, +9).
Campbell’s hole-in-one caps quick turnaround in round three
When play was suspended due to inclement weather in round three, Peter Campbell was 8-over for his round and looking well up the leaderboard at exempt status. But after a cup of coffee and a chance to catch his breath, the 31-year old returned to the course like a man on a mission, carding an eagle on the par-5 6th and a hole-in-one on the par-3 8th to manage a respectable 76 and finish the day at 6-over, inside the number for exempt status.
“It was going ugly out there for a while. Before I knew it I was 8-over and I wasn’t hitting it that bad, it was just one of those days,” said Campbell, who was the medalist at the NEC Series – PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s Q-School earlier this winter. “I’ve got some momentum going into tomorrow. Now if I can fire a decent number I’ll be home free.”
Campbell, who made three cuts on PGA TOUR Canada in 2013 including a tie for 23rd at the Cape Breton Celtic Classic presented by PC Financial, used a 6-iron from 194 yards to record the ace.
Nicklaus course continues to test players
With zero players under par through 54 holes, the demanding Nicklaus Course continued to test the field on Friday, though 19 players managed to shoot under par in round three compared to just eight in the first two rounds. The field scoring average for the week sat at 77.37 through 54 holes.
“Your second shots have to be spot-on,” said Jacksonville, Florida’s Jeff Dennis, who managed a 1-under 71 to sit tied for fourth at 3-over total. “With the wind blowing, it’s really hard for your distance control to be really good. If you miss it in the wrong spot it’s basically a bogey.”
Three players – Donald Preston, Linus Gillgren and Zach Potter – carded the first sub-70 rounds of the week, each carding a 3-under 69. The rounds paid huge dividends, as Preston moved up 19 spots from T-25 to a tie for 6th, while Gillgren and Potter each moved up 35 spots from T-70 to a tie for 35th.