David Wicks holds three-stroke lead heading into final round

The Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada Staal Foundation Open
The Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada is getting underway for the players to start the path to the PGA TOUR

 Q-School suspended until Saturday due to darkness

San Antonio, Texas— As he has done all week long, David Wicks dominated the back nine of the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio on Friday during the third round of Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada-Central Q-School.

Returning to finish his final 13 holes after darkness halted play on Thursday, Wicks made seven birdies, total, in round three to polish off a 67.

Playing the backside bogey-free this week, the Jacksonville University alumni has played the 27 holes in a dazzling 12-under par. One-deep on the front side for the week, Wicks sits at 13-under heading into the final round, three strokes better than nearest-competitor Case Cochran.

“The back nine suits my eye nicely,” said Wicks. “I’m holing some nice putts and I feel like if I can get through the front nine one or two under, I can really go and attack that back nine, especially when the pins are on the right side of the greens and can hit a fade in.”

The Q-School event hasn’t come without adversity for the entire field, as a thick fog delayed player’s third rounds by three-and-a-half-hours on Friday morning.

Combo Friday’s delay with the two-and-a-half-hour delay on Tuesday, each player has been forced to make adjustments as the week has unfolded.

For Wicks, it meant arriving at the course for the 8 A.M. resumption and waiting on a half-hour by half-hour basis for the call to head out to the sixth hole to resume round three.

“In the space of 48 hours, I had my earliest tee time ever, 7 A.M, and my latest tee time ever, 5 P.M. the next day, so it was tough to deal with, but it’s the same for the majority of the field,” said Wicks, who represented Team Europe at the Palmer Cup in 2017. “You just have to embrace it and keep your mind on other things.

“This week is going to be decided by who can embrace the changes best and just roll with the punches.”

While the fourth round began for some players on Friday, the leaders have yet to tee off and tee times will resume at 8 A.M, barring further delay, on Saturday morning.

Key Information

  • In 2017, Wicks led Jacksonville University to their first NCAA Championship berth. On the 13th hole of his final round, Wicks accidentally dropped his ball into a green-side pond, after marking it. Not wanting to forfeit penalty strokes for a lost ball, Wicks dove into the water, and after a short search, managed to find his original ball. The move went a long way towards the Dolphins tournament success.
  • Despite two triple bogeys this week, Shintaro Ban sits comfortably in solo-third place at 7-under. Ban fired a third-round 70 to put himself in position.
  • Shotaro Ban, the older brother of Shintaro Ban, shot a 68 at the final round of the PGA TOUR China qualifier in Guangzhou, earning him guaranteed starts on the Tour.
  • Case Cochran, a Texas A&M alumnus who played on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica from 2016-2017, shot a third-round 69 to sit three-strokes back of Wicks, in second place. Cochran’s father, Russ, has over 800 career starts on the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions.
  • Grady Brame Jr., who has played 20 Mackenzie Tour events over the past two seasons, rallied after an opening-round 76 to fire 69 and 71 to put himself back at even par and T21.
  • After an opening-round 80, Sam Triplett shot back-to-back scores of 70 to work his way back into the event. Heading into the final round, Triplett is T37 and within five strokes of 14th place.
  • Scott Secord remains the low Canadian heading into the final round, rallying back from an opening-nine 41 in round three to post a 74. The University of British Columbia alum heads into Saturday T28.

Quotable

“I’ve played with good players this week, it’s been awesome. Everyone is a good player here and able to shoot low. I try to focus on myself and do my own thing, try not to look at anyone else and compare. I just try to keep my head down and play. We’ve had great comradery though, and it’s nice to chat with some guys, like chatting with Case (Cochran), whose family has played on the PGA TOUR, that was interesting to talk about. He’d say the same thing as me, we’re all here for business and to try and make the Tour.” – David Wicks

“There will be times on that front nine where I’ll understand if I’m winning by two or three, maybe I’ll play some different shots towards the centres of the greens. But that back nine, no matter if I’m winning by three or four or not, I really feel good around it so I’m going to attack that and keep to my game plan; stay smart and play aggressive when possible.” – David Wicks On his final-round game plan

“It was fun to play with David (Wicks) and Kolton Crawford. We were all hitting fairways and hitting greens, so it was fun to battle and mix birdies back and forth.” Case Cochran

“We played twelve holes today, and I had my wife caddying, and she said, “those 12 holes felt like 24 holes.” My father in law caddied the first two days, otherwise your anxiety grows if you don’t have somebody to hang out with.” Case Cochran

“I’m striking it well and hitting it at the pins without being afraid. If you’re afraid on this course, it can eat you up, so I’m going to continue that and try to post another good one tomorrow.”Case Cochran

“I’ve played in Latinoamerica and I’ve always wanted to go up North to play. I’ve loved everyone I’ve met from Canada in my golf career so far, so I’m really looking forward to it.” – Case Cochran

“Today was up and down. After playing five holes yesterday in cold wind, it wasn’t easy. I made one birdie to sit 1-under through five and I was really happy and tried to carry the momentum into today.” – Shintaro Ban

“After waiting for three and a half hours, I knew it would throw some people off, but that’s just one thing. I feel like I can doze off a little bit beforehand and still be mentally in it. So, it was just staying loose and not being tired, knowing when we did go, not to be in a bad position when we got to hole six.” – Shintaro Ban

“I hit it pretty good today; hit a lot to 10 or 15 feet and just couldn’t get them to drop, which was kind of irritating. There were a couple bogeys I did make, and I knew I had to finish strong because I want to try to win this thing.”– Shintaro Ban

“My brother texted me and said he made full status, so I’m proud of him. Hopefully I can do the same on the Mackenzie Tour and we can go home together to celebrate.” – Shintaro Ban On his brother’s success at PGA TOUR China Q-School

How the Tournament Works

There are 120 players competing this week with hopes of earning Mackenzie Tour membership for the 2019 season. Below is a breakdown of the status available at each of the six Qualifying Tournaments:

Finish Position Status
Medalist Exempt for the 2019 season
2nd through 14th (no ties) Fully exempt for the first six tournaments and subject to the re-shuffle
15th through 40th (plus ties) Conditionally exempt

Third-Round Weather: Overcast High of 14. Wind at 15 KPH.