DOTHAN, Alabama — Clemson senior Jacob Bridgeman began the third round of the PGA TOUR Canada Qualifying Tournament at RTJ Golf Trail at Highland Oaks five strokes behind 36-hole leader Chandler Eaton. By the time he made the turn to his back nine, he held a two-stroke advantage.
A 6-under 30 opening nine has a way of helping an upward leaderboard move.
“It’s pretty fun. It doesn’t happen often, and when it does it’s a lot of fun,” Bridgeman said of his early fireworks. “You feel like you can’t miss.”
Bridgeman couldn’t finish his round as a rain delay in the morning left 30 players still on the course unable to finish their third rounds due to darkness.
More bad weather is predicted Friday, but officials will restart the third round at 7 a.m., CST and then send players right back out without regrouping by score in the hope of finishing the final round on time. A Saturday finish is a possibility.
Bridgeman, playing with Ian Martin and Bryce Hendrix, started his round on No. 10, and began his day birdie-eagle, making a pair of six footers. His par-5 eagle on his second hole was particularly impressive, as he nestled hit his second-shot approach from 245 yards with a 3-iron close. He followed that with three consecutive pars before birdieing Nos. 15, 17 and 18, making 34 feet worth of putts on those three holes to make the turn.
“Normally for me, when I get hot it’s with the putter. When I start seeing lines from 10 to 20 feet, that’s when I’m really locked in and can make a lot of birdies,” said Bridgeman, currently 13th in the PGA TOUR University rankings and the 26th-ranked amateur in the world.
As he moved to his second nine, Bridgeman made a short birdie putt at the first hole to get to 7-under for the day and 14-under overall. He then made three consecutive pars to close his day, getting up and down from a sidehill lie, rolling in an eight-footer on the par-3 fourth hole as the sun quickly set.
How the Tournament Works
There were 109 players in this field when the tournament began. There are 100 currently still playing. Below is a breakdown of the various PGA TOUR Canada membership statuses available this week.
|Medalist||Exempt membership for the 2022 season|
|2nd through 9th (no ties)
|Exempt through the reshuffle, which will occur approximately halfway through the season|
|10th through 30th (plus ties)||Conditional membership|
- Low-round-of-the-day honors—among those who finished their third rounds—belonged to Harry Ellis and Kyle Vance. They both shot 4-under 68s. Ellis knocked eight strokes off his previous-day’s score, while Vance has steadily improved each day, opening with a 75, followed by a 70 and Thursday’s 68. Ellis is at even-par through 54 holes, while Vance is at 3-under.
- Ben VanScoyk opened with a pair of even-par 72s then got hot on the front nine Thursday. He made five birdies in his first nine holes, cooled a bit on his back nine and settled for a 3-under 69. VanScoyk began the day tied for 32nd, and he’s currently tied for 17th. He has never held status on any PGA TOUR-affiliated Tour. This is his second PGA TOUR Canada Qualifying Tournament. In 2020, he tied for 93rd. In 2019, he tied for 92nd at the 2019 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica Qualifying Tournament in Florida.
- Ben VanScoyk was a six-time tournament winner during his division III college career at Michigan’s Calvin College. The native of Grand Rapids graduated with the lowest stroke average in program history.
Third-Round Weather: The conclusion of the second round began in cool, wet conditions. Officials delayed the third round for 1:40 due to heavy rain in the area. Partly cloudy in the afternoon, with a high of 72. Wind variable at 4-7 mph.