THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – Temecula, California’s John Chin shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday at Carlton Oaks Country Club to take the 54-hole lead at Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada qualifying school.
The 29-year old rebounded from bogeys on his first two holes with eight birdies to reach 12-under for the tournament, three shots ahead of Fallbrook, California’s Colin Featherstone with one round to go.
“It was kind of a kick in the butt and got me going,” said Chin of the bogey-bogey start. “I didn’t feel like I was trying to press anything and was just trying to take it one shot at a time, and 66 is just what happened.”
A former Web.com Tour member, Chin was victorious at a Golden State Tour event held at Carlton Oaks last week. The University of California-Irvine grad said he’s benefited from being familiar with the challenges presented by the tough Perry Dye layout.
“It’s definitely a ball-striker’s course. If you’re not striking your ball somewhat decently, you’re going to have a hard time even playing out here,” said Chin.
Chin’s 66 was the low round of the week and was his third straight round in the 60s, the only player to do so this week.
PROJECTED SCORES FOR MACKENZIE TOUR STATUS:
1st (Exempt for 2016 season): -12/1st
16th (Exempt through first four events): +1/T14
40th plus ties (Conditional status): +7/T40
KEY NUMBERS TO KNOW
1: Player without a bogey on Wednesday: Michael Tolladay (68)
75.432: The field scoring average on Thursday at Carlton Oaks.
9: Players under par through three rounds.
“It’s been kind of a build-up ever since last year when I didn’t get through the second stage of Q-School. I kind of looked in the mirror and and looked at my game, and knew I had to do something better. If you’re striking it better, your mindset changes where you’re more confident and you’re not so cautious.” – John Chin on making improvements to his game and his next steps as a professional.
“We played here my first two or three years to see who would make the team and travel to events. I’ve played a few professional tournaments here too, so getting on this course for a few professional rounds definitely helps.” – Colin Featherstone, who played collegiate rounds at Carlton Oaks for San Diego State, on feeling comfortable competing at Carlton Oaks.
“I just try to go out and do my own thing. If I go out and happen to go out and shoot a good number, I’m sure I’ll have a good chance to win it all, but it doesn’t really take my focus off just trying to out and have a good round.” – Mathias Dahl on staying focused with one round to go.
- Weather: 15 degrees Celsius. Partly cloudy with scattered showers. Winds 7 km/h.
- Canadians inside the top-40: Jae Yong Kim (-1/T8), Austin Connelly (E/T10), Andrew Ledger (+3/T23).
- 36-hole leader Cody Blick shot a 2-over 74 to drop to T3 at 6-under.
- Colin Featherstone competed at San Diego State alongside 2015 Player of the Year J.J. Spaun and caddied for Spaun at the Northern Trust Open this season.
- 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Byron Meth shot a 1-under 71 to move to T14 at 1-over total.
- Click here for scores.