A year ago, Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C. thrilled the local fans in Vancouver with a fourth place finish at the RBC Canadian Open. For the five remaining Canadians still in the field this weekend, they will be hard pressed to recreate the same kind of excitement on Sunday.
It also likely means that the victory drought by a Canadian at the National Open Championship will grow to 58 years.
David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., started the day as the top Canadian and looked set to strengthen that position after making the turn in 1-under par. But a four hole stretch to start the back nine pretty much took him out of the tournament and he'll enter the final round 14 strokes behind the leader Robert Garrigus.
"I had a bad day," said Hearn after shooting 2-over 72, the first time all week he failed to break par. "Made a lot of mistakes out there today."
"I wasn't giving myself too many chances. I got a lot of lip outs and just wasn't getting the breaks today," he said of the four consecutive bogeys starting at the 11th hole. "That's kind of the story of the way things went today."
Hearn finds himself tied with fellow Canadian Graham DeLaet at 2-under after the Weyburn, Sask., golfer carded a round of even par 70. For DeLaet, the story of this week has been his inability to mitigate mistakes on the back nine of the Hamilton Golf and Country Club. Through three rounds, DeLaet is playing the back nine in five over par while he has played the front nine in seven under.
After two sub-par rounds that were good enough to easily make the cut, Albin Choi of Toronto struggled with his form in the third round. Three birdies were cancelled out by three bogeys but it was a double bogey at No. 1 that proved to be the glaring blemish on his scorecard.
"Got off to a slow start and couldn't really get anything going today," said the recently crowned Ontario Amateur Champion who started with a bogey on No. 10 on Saturday. "It's not my first double bogey and it won't be my last. It's just one hole. I knew I had plenty of opportunities to get those shots back."
"(I) made a couple of saves toward the end but overall, very slow."
Choi has already secured low amateur honours after he was the only amateur to make the cut. Now he's confident he can put Saturday's third round behind him and take a run at being low Canadian.
"It would mean a lot," said Choi who will play the final round alongside 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel. "I've been playing good these last couple of weeks, so I knew my game was good enough to compete. It's just a matter of going out there and doing it."
Matt Hill of Sarnia, Ont., carded a third round 71 and sits at even par for the tournament.
"It was kind of a tough day out there," said Hill of the three birdies, two bogeys and one double bogey. "I feel like I haven't really played my best golf this week and I made the cut and still a chance to shoot a good one tomorrow and take some positives out of that."
Matt McQuillan, who made only his second cut in nine PGA Tour events this week, stumbled to a 7-over 77 and sits at 4-over par. A stretch of three bogeys and a double bogey over five holes to start his final nine hole stretch put him in a hole he couldn't overcome.