MONTREAL: Charley Hoffman birdied the last on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to cap a seven-under par 65 and take a one-stroke lead over Kevin Chappell after three rounds of the US PGA Tour Canadian Open.
Hoffman had eight birdies overall on the Glen Abbey course in Oakville, Ontario, building a 54-hole total of 17-under par 199.
Six of Hoffman’s birdies came in a seven-hole stretch from nine through 15. He rebounded from his lone bogey at 17 with his two-putt birdie at the last.
“The putter’s been rolling good the second half of the season,” said Hoffman, who captured his fourth career PGA Tour title at the Texas Open in April of last year.
“When putts go in it’s always easier to shoot a lower score.”
Chappell had nine birdies and three bogeys in his six-under 66 for 200. He bogeyed the par-five 18th, where he was in a fairway bunker, the rough and the water.
American Robert Garrigus matched the course record with a 10-under par 62 for a share of third place on 201 alongside Gary Woodland, who carded a 68.
Garrigus’s three chip-ins included an eagle at the second — one of two eagles to go with six birdies.
The 39-year-old became the fifth player to post a 62 at Glen Abbey, where Leonard Thompson first set the mark in 1981.
He said the key to his success was not over-thinking things.
“My mind shuts off,” he said. “I might be kind of an idiot when it comes to that but that’s fine. I’m almost so dumb I can play good golf.
“That’s a good quality to have out here, because you’re not thinking about anything,” he added. “You’re not thinking about missing a shot or hitting it close or whatever.”
Garrigus and Woodland were one stroke in front of a half-dozen players on 202. The group included 19-year-old Australian pro Ryan Ruffels, who signed for a 68, and defending champion Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela who carded a 67.
American Martin Flores, who took a one-shot lead into the third round, carded an even par-72 for a total of 204 that left him five off the lead in a group that also included world number one Dustin Johnson and England’s Ian Poulter, who both shot 68.