American and defending champion Zach Bauchou continued his blistering pace on the Island, with a 4-under-par 67 in Wednesday’s third round of the 114th Canadian men’s amateur golf championship, to hold a two-stroke lead at Duncan Meadows.
The 22-year-old Forest, Virginia, product sits at 13 under par for the tournament and has held the lead through the first three rounds. But he feels that lead could have been even wider heading into today’s final round. Bauchou, an NCAA junior at Oklahoma State, felt he left a lot of strokes on the course Wednesday.
“I didn’t really feel like I played that great today. I just didn’t hit it close to the hole so I didn’t have many great birdie looks,” Bauchou said.
“I was fortunate to only make one bogey, which minimizes the damage a lot. I just need to play better [in today’s fourth round].”
Bauchou’s motivation comes from many sources, one of which included Oklahoma State teammate Sam Stevens, who now sits in a tie for third at 8 under. The pair shared a short exchange at the 17th tee to compare scores.
“I was asking Sam what he was at and he was 6 under,” said Bauchou. “So I was really gearing up to birdie the last two holes but I didn’t do that, so that was disappointing. You know, I think I’m in a really good frame of mind to have a good day [today].”
Trailing Bauchou is fellow American Philip Knowles, who shot a 64 to tie the course record, set this week by Australian Justin Warren. The Jacksonville, Florida, native sits at 11 under in solo second, narrowing Bauchou’s 36-hole lead by one stroke.
A trio of golfers sit tied for third place at 8 under par: Canadian Kaleb Gorbahn of Smithers, Sam Stevens of Wichita, Kansas, and Cameron Young of Scarborough, New York.
Bauchou rallied from behind in the final round last year to win the 2017 title. He looks to close it out today playing with the lead. He tees off at 9:31 a.m. alongside Knowles and Gorbahn, the current low Canadian.
NHL referee Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont., sits in 6th place at 7 under for the tournament.
Tristan Mandur of Mill Bay, who competes in the NCAA Pac-12 for the University of Utah Utes, was top Islander. Mandur was tied for 13th at 209, following his even-par 71 Wednesday.
Josh Miller of Royal Colwood, Todd Bissenden of Chemainus and Jake Lane of Qualicum Beach were all tied for 34th at 214 while Lawren Rowe of Victoria was tied for 63rd at 218.
Today’s champion will earn exemptions into the 2018 U.S. Amateur beginning Monday at Pebble Beach and 2019 RBC Canadian Open next June in Hamilton.