WATCH ABOVE: Jim Furyk takes control in third round as Graham DeLaet falls back. Derek Meyers reports
MONTREAL – Jim Furyk set his sights on a third RBC Canadian Open title with a bogey-free 65 in the third round to take a three-shot lead, while Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., saw his hopes sag with a three-putt on the 18th at Royal Montreal on Saturday.
The 44-year-old Furyk kept his ball on the tree-lined fairways and his putting stayed hot as he held the lead after starting the day in a tie for first with Tim Petrovic. Furyk goes into Sunday’s final round at 15-under 195.
South African Tim Clark, who used a hot start to shoot the low round of the day at 6-under 64, was three back at 12-under 198. Kyle Stanley, who has been close to the lead every day, shot 68 to sit third at 10 under. Jamie Lovemark shot 67 and was fourth at 9 under.
WATCH: Canada’s Graham DeLaet was happy with his play but knows he needs to post a low score on Sunday to have a shot
READ MORE: Live coverage of the 2014 RBC Canadian Open
“It’s always great to get off to a good start,” said Clark, who began his round with a birdie and eagle and added three more birdies in the final six holes. “Saturdays are normally the toughest day to score on, so you dream of a start like that.”
Clark is coming off a strong showing at the John Deere Classic, where he tied for fifth, helping to turn around a middling season that included a problem with his left elbow that needed a cortisone injection.
“Right now I feel good and I am able to swing how I want to,” the 38-year-old said. “Three months ago I started to hit the good again, but I just wasn’t scoring. Finally, the last few tournaments, I’ve started to score.”
DeLaet, seeking a first PGA Tour win, missed a par putt on the second and but kept himself afloat until he sank a long putt for eagle on the par-5 12th. He followed with a birdie on the 14th to get to 10-under, but then put his tee shot on the 15th into a hazard for bogey.
The crowd gave him a rousing ovation as he walked up the 18th fairway, but he got too aggressive on a 10-foot birdie putt and then missed a short one for par to finish at even-par 70.
He was tied for fifth place at 8-under with Joe Durant (67), Scott Brown (69) and Tim Petrovic (72).
Furyk won the world’s third-oldest national championship in 2006 at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club and followed with a win in 2007 at Angus Glen in Markham, Ont.
A third win would put him in a tie for second all-time with Tommy Armour (1927, 1930 and 1934), San Snead (1938, 1940 and 1941) and Lee Trevino (1971, 1977 and 1979). Leo Diegel won four titles in the 1920s.
Coming off a final round 65 to finish fourth at the British Open last Sunday, Furyk has had only one bogey, on the fourth hole of the first round, at Royal Montreal.
With thunderstorms forecast for Sunday, start times were moved up two hours to 8 a.m. ET. The third round was played in breezy, overcast weather, with only a brief, light rain in the afternoon.
Amateur Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hills, Ont., rebounded from a 75 on Friday with a 68 to go to 2 under. He was 4 under through 17 holes, but the big hitter put his tee shot in a hazard and hit a weak chip shot for double bogey on the 18th.
WATCH: Mike Weir reflects on the 10th anniversary of his near-miss at winning the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey
He was happy with his week so far however, which included an opening-round 65.
“Just getting out here and experiencing what the PGA guys experience every week is pretty awesome,” the 23-year-old said. “My goal for the week was just to come out here and have some good rounds.
“Just like any other tournament, if I play good I’ll make the cut. I had a good day and a bad day, but I made the cut, which was awesome. It’s great to play two more rounds on the weekend.”
Brad Fritsch of Ottawa shot a bogey-free 67 to move to 3 under for the tournament, while Adam Hadwin of Burnaby, B.C., was at 3-under after a 68. David Hearn of Brampton, Ont., was also at 3 under after a 70.
Mike Weir of Bright’s Grove, Ont., was 1 over on the day and for the tournament.
“No bogeys out here with the wind blowing a bit – I played nicely,” said Fritsch, whose sand shot on the 18th helped save par. “Burned the edge a lot today, but I also had some good up and downs.
“It was nice to get up and down on the last, just to make sure it was bogey-free.”
© The Canadian Press, 2014