ISN – (Orlando, Fla.) – Toronto, Ontario’s Albin Choi and Uniontown, Ohio’s Ross Beal shared the lead midway through the third round of PGA TOUR Canada’s Florida Qualifying Tournament before play was suspended due to dangerous weather in the area.
Choi, a 22-year old member of Golf Canada’s Young Pro Team, carded a bogey-free 32 on his first nine holes, while Beal, a 30-year old who lives in Orlando, posted an eagle and a birdie on his front nine, both reaching 14-under par through 45 holes. The pair were atop a jumbled leaderboard, with 10 others players within three strokes of the lead.
With thunderstorms moving into the Orlando area in the late afternoon, play was suspended at 5:11 p.m. and later called for the day. Play will resume on Friday morning with players in position at 7:45 a.m. and the fourth round beginning at 8:45 a.m.
“It really helped getting off to three birdies early and hitting some really good shots,” said Choi, who opened with three consecutive birdies. “It was nice to see some putts fall and get the confidence going early on. The course is going to be soft tomorrow morning after the rain so I’m looking forward to some of the get-able scoring holes out there.”
“I’m just trying to continue what I’m doing and keep the good play going into tomorrow morning,” said Beal, taking an optimistic approach to resuming his third round tomorrow. “I feel like I lucked out being able to come back and finish in perfect conditions tomorrow morning and I’m just hoping to keep giving myself opportunities to make birdies.”
One stroke behind Beal and Choi were Spence Fulford and Cody Martin, both of whom made a move with a 5-under 31 on their first nine holes to reach 13-under.
The medalist this week will earn exempt status on PGA TOUR Canada for 2015. Finishers 2-18 will be exempt through the first six events and subject to the re-shuffle, with the rest of the top 40 (plus ties) earning conditional status. The cutoff for the top 18 through the first round was at 9-under, with the cutoff for the top 40 at 6-under.
NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW
5: Shots separating first place and a tie for 15th, representing the top 18 through 45 holes.
3: Shots separating a tie for 15th (9-under) and a tie for 35th (6-under), the current cut lines for cards. If necessary, playoffs will be used to determine the medalist and the top-18.
Weather: 28 degrees Celsius and partly cloudy skies giving way to thunderstorms in the evening. Winds 20 km/h.
Play was suspended at 5:11 p.m. due to dangerous weather in the area.
Brendan Kelly and Cole Willcox each shot 6-under 66s Thursday morning to move up to a tie for 25th and 53rd, respectively.
36-hole leader Ty Dunlap fell to a 1-over 37 on the front nine and was in a tie for eighth at 11-under when play was called on Thursday.
2013 Order of Merit No. 8 Chris Epperson went out in 5-under for his first nine holes on Thursday, climbing from a tie for 45th into a tie for 19th.
2013 Order of Merit No. 17 David Skinns went out in 2-under 34 and was tied for eighth.