(Bath, Ont.) – Chilliwack, British Columbia’s Brad Clapp birdied the final two holes at Loyalist Golf and Country Club on Saturday to shoot a 4-under 68 and maintain his lead at The Great Waterway Classic, the ninth event of the 2015 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.
Clapp, who was born in nearby Trenton, Ontario and raised for the first 10 years of his life in southeastern Ontario, maintained the two-shot lead he began the day with, capping his round with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 18th to sit at 18-under through 54 holes.
“It always feels good finishing birdie-birdie, especially to keep the lead. I didn’t really feel like I had my best today, so watching that leaderboard I knew I had some to work to do,” said Clapp, whose closing birdie came after another at the 17th where he stuck a wedge inside 10 feet and rolled in the putt for birdie.
The 28-year old was two strokes ahead of San Antonio, Texas resident Tom Moore through three rounds and said he was surprised when he saw his name atop the leaderboard on the back nine with so many low scores posted earlier in the morning.
“I’m actually surprised that 18-under is still in the lead, knowing how good these guys are. I expected to start the day without the lead. This Tour’s so good, and watching the scores this week has been crazy. I kind of thought I’d be chasing guys when I get on the first tee,” said Clapp.
The 54-hole lead is Clapp’s first on the Mackenzie Tour, putting the second year Tour player in unfamiliar territory. Still, Clapp said he would draw on other successful competitive experiences, including wins at the 2012 PGA of BC Championship and the Vancouver Open on the Vancouver Golf Tour earlier this month.
“That [Vancouver Open win] was a come-from-behind victory, so this would be a little bit different, but having the taste of success is huge no matter what level you’re on,” said Clapp. “I’ve been struggling to keep my mental game in shape all year, so it’s nice that I can draw from this round not having my best but still staying calm and patient and just plugging along. It’s a huge confidence boost.”
One shot behind Moore at 14-under were Maryland’s Kyle Stough and Florida’s Chase Seiffert, each of whom secured two-putt birdies of their own at the 18th. A group of seven players, including Order of Merit no. 5 Albin Choi and Oklahoma’s Talor Gooch, who shot matching 8-under 64s in the same pairing, were one shot further behind.
“I was a little disappointed I didn’t get in last week, but I came out here and wanted to prove something, so here I am,” said Moore, who did not get into last week’s National Capital Open to Support Our Troops as an alternate and spent the week caddying for Ohio’s Ross Beal, who finished fourth.
T5. Talor Gooch 64 (-14)
NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1: Brad Clapp’s number of 54-hole leads on the Mackenzie Tour including this week.
64: Albin Choi and Talor Gooch’s matching scores on Saturday, vaulting them up 37 spots on the leaderboard. The pair will play together again on Sunday.
15: Players to shoot in the 60s all three days at Loyalist.
“I had to believe in myself. I’ve been playing good, but I’ve just been on the edge all year. When I finally had a good first round, I knew it was there. I knew I just had to trust it and commit to what was there. I’ve been working really hard and I haven’t really seen the results until this week.” – Tom Moore on being in contention on the weekend. Moore has missed the cut in all seven of his starts this season.
“With only the second half of the season to play starting with pretty terrible status for the year, I figured if I could get to the season-ending event that would be good, especially if I can manage to win one of the last six. More than anything, I just wanted to put myself in contention. 2013 up here was a lot of fun for me because I was around the lead a couple of times.” – Kyle Stough, who got into just one of the season’s first six events after having conditional status. Stough moved up the mid-season re-shuffle to improve his status.
“We’re so close to the end here, I feel like week-by-week is going quickly. It’s really important that I stay in the present and go out there and play a good round tomorrow. We still have a lot of time left, and my goal is to put myself in a spot where I don’t have to do something miraculous the last week. I just need to keep going about my business and have more rounds like today.” – Order of Merit no. 5 Albin Choi on trying to distract himself from the chase for Web.com Tour status.
“It was nice to get some momentum going early, and when he’s playing good and when I’m playing good, we just get in a rhythm and it’s fun.” – Talor Gooch on shooting matching 8-under 64s with playing partner Albin Choi.
- Weather: 20 degrees Celsius (25 degrees with Humidity). Cloudy. Winds 20 km/h.
- Brad Clapp’s previous best result on the Mackenzie Tour is a T2 at the 2014 PC Financial Open.
- Clapp enters the week 67th on the Order of Merit. The top 60 on the Order of Merit in two weeks will make it into the season-ending Freedom 55 Financial Championship.
- Tom Moore has missed the cut in all seven of his starts this season. His three rounds of 65-69-66 are three of his four total rounds in the 60s for 2015.
- Kyle Stough finished 10th on the 2013 Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit to earn a spot into the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School, where he earned conditional status for 2014 and made five cuts in 17 starts.
- Stough has now shot under par in eight of his last 11 starts on the Mackenzie Tour going back to the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON.
- Click here for scores.