Langley’s James Allenby takes three-stroke lead into final round of Canada Life Open

PGA TOUR Canada tee marker

Vancouver, British Columbia—Saturday was another near-perfect day for Langley, British Columbia’s James Allenby, who’s third-round 67 at Point Grey Golf and Country Club has him knocking at the door of his first Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada victory at the Canada Life Open.

Opening with a 68, Allenby’s second-round 63 looked to be a tough act to follow. By all accounts, the 34-year old did just fine in his attempt on Saturday, showing poise with three birdies in his first four holes to quickly jump ahead to a five-stroke lead early in the day.

“Any time you go bogey-free it’s a good round,” said Allenby, who has played his past 38 holes without a bogey. “I don’t even know how to describe today; I just plotted along and took care of business.”

Following the quick start, Allenby made 12 pars on his final 14 holes, and while Dawson Armstrong’s third-round 64 catapulted him into second place, it’s the Canadian, who had a large Vancouver contingent following along on Saturday, who heads into the final round with a three-stroke cushion.

“It’s the way golf should be played, it feels good having people appreciate your shots,” said Allenby when asked about the local support this week. “Because the Tour is in Canada, it’s great to have Canadians to cheer for.”

Saturday’s clean card didn’t come without some strenuous moments. A few wayward tee shots put Allenby in tough positions, however, timely scrambling aided him on the back side.

“I’m just a little bit off, off the tee,” said Allenby, making his 70th-career Mackenzie Tour start this week. “I’m not hitting as many fairways as I’d like to, I’m just missing a little bit and having some tree troubles because they’re quite close to the fairways.

“I had to pitch out once on the back nine, but I managed to get that up and down, which was a great momentum keeper.”

A victory on Sunday would not only assure him a place to play for the remainder of the season but would also garner Allenby an exemption into his first PGA TOUR event at next month’s RBC Canadian Open.

But with 18-holes to play, and four out of five Canada Life Open winners since 2014 claiming victory by two strokes or less, the Vancouver crowds could be in for excitement down the stretch on Sunday.

Key Information

  • The most-recent Canadian to win on the Mackenzie Tour was Adam Cornelson in 2016 at the Bayview Place DCBank Open presented by Times Colonist.
  • Lee McCoy holds the Canada Life Open tournament-record, firing 20-under par in 2017 on his way to victory.
  • Allenby looks to be the favourite for the first Canada Life Canadian Player of the Week Award, given to the top Canadian on the Mackenzie Tour each week along with a $2,500 bonus.
  • Having to Monday qualify into the tournament, Gerardo Ruiz moved all the way to third place on the leaderboard due to a timely hole-in-one on the 17thhole on Saturday. His third-round 66 was the second bogey-free round of the week for the Puebla, Mexico native as Ruiz heads into Sunday in the second-last group.
  • In second-place heading into the final round, Dawson Armstrong is the most decorated player in Lipscomb University history, winning the ASUN Conference Golfer of the Year Award three-consecutive times and being named to the All-ASUN First Team each of his four seasons. His trophy shelf hosts hardware from 10 individual-collegiate wins. Firing rounds of 68, 69 and a stunning Saturday 64, Armstrong looks to claim his first Mackenzie Tour victory on Sunday.
  • Finishing in 40thplace on the Order of Merit in his rookie Mackenzie Tour season in 2018, with the highlight being a T4 finish at the Bayview Place DCBank Open presented by Times Colonist, Northwestern University alum Dylan Wu finished his round with a birdie and an eagle to sign for a 67. The 22-year old heads into the final round T7.
  • With six birdies and just a single bogey on Saturday, Chris O’Neill fired a third-round 67 and heads into Sunday T11.

Quotable 

“It’s about an hour commute from home every day. I just kill time at home before I leave, nothing too strenuous. I’d like to say that I’m at the gym, but I’m not, I’m just doing what I’ve been doing and trying not to overdo it, that’s a focus of mine as well. I get here with an hour to go and start my warmup and go from there.” – James Allenbyon his pre-round routine. 

“I hit driver six times, six out of 14, not much at all. It’s a hybrid or 2-iron place.” – Dawson Armstrong

“On the back nine, on hole No. 10, I hit it to a foot. No. 11 got up and down, No. 12 chipped it to eight feet and made that, No. 14 I hit pitching wedge to 12-feet and made that, on No. 16 I hit a 7-iron from 175-yards to 15-feet and made that, and No. 18 was just a 10-footer up the hill. It was just good golf, anyone can hit those shots or make those putts, but it happened, for me, to be today.” – Dawson Armstrong

“It’s fun. I’ve had a good mindset the past two weeks just playing my game, if it happens to be enough then it’ll be enough.  I’ve been hitting fairways and greens as much as I can, I’m ok with having 15 or 20-footers because some will go in, I’m just going to go play my game as much as I can.” – Dawson Armstrong

“I felt like I hit it far from the hole the whole day, but then I got to 17 and it was 162-yards with a little help, which was a smooth 9-iron for me. In the air I was asking for it to be good because it was on a pretty good line and I just didn’t know if the distance was right. There was a good amount of people up by the green and there was a good cheer, I didn’t realize it was a hole-in-one until they yelled a little louder and I was like, ‘oh, it went in!'” – Gerardo Ruiz

“My other tournament hole-in-one was similar, it was in the last round on hole No. 15in Mayakoba in a Mexican Tour event, so today was a bit of a bigger stage, but both were finishing holes and to get a good spot on the leaderboard.”– Gerardo Ruiz

“It’s been a rush since Monday. I played the Monday qualifier and showed with no umbrella or rain gear. I had to borrow an umbrella and buy a windbreaker because they didn’t have any rain jackets. I stayed at a hotel for a few nights, AirBNB one night, another AirBNB the other three nights. I’m at a host house starting yesterday, it’s been a crazy week.” – Gerardo Ruiz

“I just have to stay loose and enjoy it. I’ve stayed loose the past three days and I think the golf course is amazing, so I just have to enjoy it.” – Gerardo Ruiz

“It’s moving day, Saturday, it was a steady round with lots of fairways and greens. When you’re on fire, you can go super low, but sometimes when you’re on point it doesn’t mean the score will come. Today, I thought the score could be lower, but it is what it is. I played smart and was never really in trouble, so It’s nice for it to be stress-free” – Tyler Weworski

“I’m going to control what I can control. It definitely seems like I’ll need a low one to catch the guy in first. I won’t pick a number, but If I make a few birdies and a few eagles, you never know.” – Tyler Weworski

Third-Round Weather: Overcast/Rainy. High of 11. Wind 10 KM/h.