Round 3 – Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel
Third Round Leaderboard (Bold denotes Canadian):
Patrick Newcomb – 71-65-69 (-11)
Kramer Hickok – 69-65-71 (-11)
Chad Ramey – 66-74-66 (-10)
Jared du Toit – 66-70-71 (-9)
Charlie Danielson – 70-69-68 (-9)
Jordan Niebrugge – 69-70-68 (-9)
Mark Blakefield – 69-66-72 (-9)
HICKOK, NEWCOMB SHARE STAAL FOUNDATION OPEN LEAD
by Brian Decker
Thunder Bay – SPORTS – Dallas, Texas’ Kramer Hickok and Murray, Kentucky’s Patrick Newcomb reached 11-under through 54 holes on Saturday at Whitewater Golf Club to share the lead heading into the final round of the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel, the fifth event of the 2017 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.
Hickok, coming off a win last week at the Players Cup, carded 1-under 71 in round three to give himself a chance at his second consecutive Mackenzie Tour win, while Newcomb, a winner earlier this year on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, managed a 3-under 69 to match Hickok at 11-under, one stroke ahead of Fulton, Mississippi’s Chad Ramey through three rounds in Thunder Bay.
“I’m still playing good golf,” said Hickok, who will look to become the first player during the Mackenzie Tour’s PGA TOUR era (2013-present) to win in back-to-back weeks. “I’m doing everything that I need to do, which starts with limiting mistakes and getting the ball in the fairway to start.”
“I’ve played really well. I’ve had some really quality stretches of golf. Today was a roller-coaster ride. I got off to a really hot start and forgot how to play golf for a few holes, and then figured it out coming home,” said Newcomb, who will look to become the first player to win on both PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and the Mackenzie Tour on Sunday.
Hickok and Newcomb were among the 78 players who returned to finish their second rounds on Saturday morning after play was suspended on Friday due to darkness. Hickok played nine holes in 5-under par to complete a 7-under 65 in round two, then made just one bogey and two birdies in round three to share the 54-hole lead.
With plenty of momentum from his Players Cup win, the 25-year old Hickok said he’d rely on his experience last week in Winnipeg, where he secured the win with birdies on each of his final two holes.
“It’s something I’m always going to look back on and just rely on down the stretch. I’ve done it before, and so I can keep on doing it now. It’s nice to know I can bring out my best stuff when I need it,” said Hickok.
Ramey, who led after Thursday’s play, carded his second 66 of the week, while a group of four players – Kimberley, B.C.’s Jared du Toit, Mequon, Wisconsin’s Jordan Niebrugge, Osceola, Wisconsin’s Charlie Danielson and Maysville, Kentucky’s Mark Blakefield – were a shot further behind at 9-under.
BACKGROUND ON THE LEADERS:
25-year old Kramer Hickok is in his first season on the Mackenzie Tour and ranks No. 3 on the Order of Merit thanks to a win last week at the Players Cup.
The University of Texas alum is a roommate of two-time major champion Jordan Spieth.
With a win on Sunday, Hickok can overtake current Order of Merit leader Robby Shelton and guarantee a spot in RBC Canadian Open. The top three players on the Order of Merit will earn an exemption into the PGA TOUR event July 24-30 at Glen Abbey Golf Club.
No player has won back-to-back events on the Mackenzie Tour during the PGA TOUR era (2013-present). The last player to win back-to-back on the Mackenzie Tour was Eugene Wong at the 2012 Freedom 55 Financial Championship and The Great Waterway Classic.
27-year old Patrick Newcomb is making his second career start on the Mackenzie Tour and is playing out of a category for members of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, where he ranks eighth on the Order of Merit thanks to a win at the Honduras Open presented by Indura Beach and Golf Resort.
Newcomb played college golf at Murray State, where he collected nine individual victories.
24-year old Chad Ramey is in his first season on the Mackenzie Tour, having earned exempt status for the first eight events of the year at the USA East #2 Q-School this spring.
In four starts so far, he’s made two cuts and ranks 90th on the Order of Merit.
Jared du Toit
du Toit is coming off a standout amateur career that concluded in June with his senior season at Arizona State University, where he was named a 2017 NCAA 2nd team All-American.
The Kimberley, B.C. native is a member of Golf Canada’s National Team and captured the attention of a nation last year when he played his way into the final group on Sunday at the RBC Canadian Open before finishing T9.
Du Toit turned professional at the Bayview Place Cardtronics Open presented by Times Colonist and earned status on the Mackenzie Tour by placing inside the top-60 on the Order of Merit through the first re-shuffle after last week’s Players Cup.
THEY SAID IT:
“Good golf travels. That’s pretty much all that says. I’ve been traveling the world, and I’ve been a lot of places so the travel doesn’t really bother me, and it’s more about getting here and getting prepared.” – Patrick Newcomb on how he’s been able to compete in so many different parts of the world.
“It’s great to have their support. They’ve helped me get so much better along the way, just learning and talking to them and answering my questions. It’s been big.” – Kramer Hickok on the support of friends Jordan Spieth and Fred Couples during his career.
“It was a big grind out there today. I hit some terrible golf shots, and managed to keep them most of the time in the right spots, and when I was in the wrong spots I didn’t make doubles. The way I was hitting it, I’m happy to have a chance going into tomorrow.” – Jared du Toit on his third round.
- Weather: 26 degrees Celsius (feels like 31), partly cloudy, winds 9 km/h gusting to 14 km/h.
- Round 2 play resumed Saturday morning at 8 a.m. after being suspended due to darkness on Friday.
- Final round tee times will run from 7:31 a.m. to 11:55 a.m. with groups teeing off the 1st tee in threesomes.
- Preferred lies were in effect again for Round 3.
- Click here for scores.