Cory Renfrew Victoria BC -12
Round 3 – GolfBC Championship
(Kelowna, B.C.) – Syracuse, New York’s Dan McCarthy holed out for eagle on the 18th hole to shoot an 8-under 63 on Saturday at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf and Country Club to take the 54-hole lead at the inaugural GolfBC Championship, the third event of the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.
The current Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit leader holed out with a wedge from 103 yards to jump in front of Vancouver, British Columbia’s Ryan Williams with one round to go and will look for his second win in three starts to kick off the season on Sunday.
“That was an unbelievable finish certainly. It was a good number but you never expect to jar one,” said McCarthy, who captured his first Mackenzie Tour win two weeks ago at the Freedom 55 Financial Championship.
Already firmly in the No. 1 spot on the Order of Merit – and in position to earn exempt status on the Web.com Tour for 2017 – McCarthy refused to get ahead of himself and said he would try to finish strong on Sunday to build his Order of Merit lead.
“If I said I hadn’t thought about it, I’d be lying,” McCarthy noted about his strong play to start the season and Order of Merit position. “There’s a long way to go with 18 holes tomorrow. I’ve got a two shot lead and I’m going to need every one of them. Ryan’s a great player and there are a lot of guys behind me making birdies as well.”
Williams, who carded six birdies and no bogeys on the day for a 6-under 65, said he was looking forward to a chance to play in the final group with McCarthy. The twosome will tee off at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday.
“There’s always a little bit more pressure the last day, and always a lot more to play for, so I’m just going to go out and play the best I can and hopefully it’s good enough,” said Williams.
Two shots further behind Williams was 54-hole leader Caleb Sturgeon, who managed a 2-under 69 on Saturday to reach 14-under.
Third Round Leaderboard (Bold denotes Canadian):
Dan McCarthy – 66-66-63 (-18)
Ryan Williams – 66-66-65 (-16)
Caleb Sturgeon – 64-65-69 (-14)
Vaita Guillaume – 65-70-65 (-13)
Cory Renfrew – 65-71-65 (-12)
KEY NUMBERS TO KNOW:
103: Dan McCarthy’s yardage to the hole on his round-closing eagle Saturday.
85.2%: Dan McCarthy’s field-leading greens in regulation this week.
13: McCarty’s field-leading fairways hit on Saturday.
Order of Merit leader Dan McCarthy opened with rounds of 66-66-63, his 10th and 11th straight under par rounds to open the season.
McCarthy has shot at least 2-under in every round so far this season and opened the year with finishes of WIN-T6.
McCarthy is making his 41st career start this week and owns five career top-10 finishes, including a win at the season-opening Freedom 55 Financial Championship.
The last player to win twice in his first three starts of the season was Joel Dahmen in 2014 (Freedom 55 Financial Open, Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON).
Ryan Williams is making his 84th career start on the Mackenzie Tour this week. He owns 12 career top-10s including a win at the 2014 Freedom 55 Financial Championship and has finished 2nd or better at least once in each of the last three seasons.
Williams comes into the week 12th on the Order of Merit with finishes of 7th-T28 to start the season.
Caleb Sturgeon is making his third career start on the Mackenzie Tour. He ranks 11th on the Order of Merit after starting the season with finishes of 6th and T22.
Sturgeon earned exempt status through the first four events of the season with a T11 finish at the USA East No. 1 Q-School.
Sturgeon played college golf at the University of South Carolina with fellow Mackenzie Tour members Matt NeSmith, Will Starke and Sean Kelly as teammates.
“A good friend won last week and inspired a lot of us, so it would be fun to follow in his footsteps for sure.” – Ryan Williams on trying to follow good friend Adam Cornelson’s win last week in Victoria.
“I’m ready, and definitely this week’s been a good start. We’ve got one more day tomorrow, and hopefully I can cap it off.” – Cory Renfrew (-12, 5th) on being in contention this week.