Robert Garrigus broke the 54-hole scoring record at the Canadian Open that was first set more than a half-century ago by Arnold Palmer.
On rain-softened greens that took the bite out of Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario, Garrigus combined his power with some timely putts for a 6-under 64 on Saturday that gave him a one-shot lead over William McGirt, who lost ground despite a 66.
Scott Piercy had a 67 and was another shot behind.
Garrigus was at 16-under 194, one shot better than Palmer in 1955 at Weston Golf & Country Club outside Toronto, and matched two years ago by Dean Wilson at St. George’s Golf & Country Club. Palmer went on to win the 1955 Canadian Open.
Garrigus will be going for his second win. He was fortunate to escape with par, not to mention his health, on the final hole when his 3-iron off the tee ran out 290 yards and just into the hazard short of the bridge. He had to clip the ball to avoid smacking the bridge and damaging his wrist, and the wedge came out perfectly.
“If I hit it a millimeter fat, I break my wrist,” Garrigus said. “I had to knife it out of that lie and catch part of the bridge, and hopefully the ball gets the top part of the bridge and bounces up. And that’s exactly what I did. I hit it perfect.”
Scott Stallings, who won last week in Mississippi, birdied his last two holes for a 63 and was four shots behind, along with Chris Kirk (63) and Bo Van Pelt (67). Stallings ended a streak of nine consecutive PGA Tour events in which the 54-hole leader failed to win. The ninth was Ernie Els coming from six shots behind at the British Open. Stalling won later that day.
“A lot of guys haven’t been able to hold leads this year,” said Garrigus, still known for losing a three-shot lead on the final hole in Memphis two years ago.
COUPLES IN SECOND AT SENIOR BRITISH
Bernard Langer shot a 4-under 66 for a one-stroke lead over Seattle native Fred Couples heading into the final round of the Senior British Open in Turnberry, Scotland.
Couples had seven birdies in a round of 64, while Peter Fowler finished with a 65 to trail the leader by two shots.
“I’m just happy to be in the hunt with 18 holes to play,” said Langer, who won this title two years ago at Carnoustie. “There’s a lot of guys in with a chance, so I know I’ll have to shoot one of the lower scores to win.”
Americans John Cook (66) and overnight leader Gary Hallberg (73) joined England’s Barry Lane (66) at four shots back.
Couples had birdies at Nos. 1, 3 and 7, 8, 9. On the back nine, he had two birdies and dropped one shot at the 14th.
“It was a very, very good day,” Couples said. “Once I got going, I didn’t miss many shots. I hit my irons solid and when I hit them close, I made the putt.”
Tom Watson (66) and Tom Lehman (73) were seven shots behind Langer.
On a day of low scoring despite strong wind and some showers, Langer and Couples each reached the turn in 30.
Langer birdied the first, fourth, sixth and ninth, eagled the long seventh and dropped a stroke at the fifth. He had nine straight 4s on the back nine, bogeying both the par 3s before a birdie on the long 17th.
American Stacy Lewis birdied the final hole for a 1-over 73 and a share of the lead at 11-under 205 with South Korea’s Inbee Park after the third round of the Evian Masters at Evian-les-Bains, France. … Bernd Wiesberger won the Lyoness Open for his second European Tour victory, closing with a 7-under 65 for a three-stroke victory in Atzenbrugg, Austria. He finished at 19 under.