If you ask Robert Garrigus what his greatest skill as a professional golfer is, he'd tell you it's clearing his mind. That is, if he even has anything on his mind to begin with.
"I'm almost so dumb I can play golf good," said Garrigus after shooting a 10-under 62 to match the Glen Abbey Golf Course record at the RBC Canadian Open on Saturday. "That's a good quality to have out here, because you're not thinking about anything. You're not thinking about missing a shot or hitting it close or whatever.
"I've been out here for a long time and I've had rounds like this where I just got out of my own way, and that's a really important thing."
Garrigus had a pair of eagles and six birdies in the third round to drop to 15 under on the tournament after three rounds and take an early lead. He was passed on the leaderboard by Charley Hoffman's 7-under 65, who held a 17-under 199 lead after three rounds.
Kevin Chappell was running neck-and-neck with Hoffman all day, and got a shot ahead of Garrigus with a 6-under 66 to finish the day in sole possession of second. Gary Woodland (68) also caught up to Garrigus to enter a tie for third at 15 under.
It was Garrigus, however, who wrote his name in the history books matching Leonard Thompson's 62 in 1981 at the Canadian Open, also at Glen Abbey. He didn't even know that he was within stirking distance of the record as he made his way around the Jack Nicklaus-designed course.
"I didn't even know I shot in the 20s on the front. I thought it was 36 and it was 35 and I had a chance to shoot 28," said Garrigus, who added that he and his wife prayed all night for him to get into contention. "All in all it was a phenomenal day, just a lot of fun."
Thompson's record stood for 36 years, but Garrigus thinks it won't be nearly as untouchable.
"The kids are too good nowadays," said Garrigus. "I'm almost 40 years old and I'm playing against kids that I could be their dad. It's crazy to hit it further than I do right now.
"When I was 23 years old, I had no clue what I was doing. It's nice to see that and it's good for golf."
Chappell wasn't surprised that someone hit a 10 under. A rainy summer, including a thunderstorm during the first round, have made conditions at Glen Abbey ideal. It remained relatively cool on Saturday with just a light breeze.
"I knew the scores were out there," said Chappell. "(The course) hasn't really firmed up the way I expected it to, especially with the wind blowing yesterday like it did. But this course is in great shape. The greens are rolling really good, and you know, with it as soft as it is, these guys are going to make a lot of birdies."
Hoffman believes he'll have to keep attacking the course to hold on to his lead in the fourth round.
"Everybody on the PGA Tour is really good. It's hard to win golf tournaments out here," said Hoffman. "Guys just don't go backwards very often, so you have to keep making birdies, stay aggressive."
Canadians Graham DeLaet and Mackenzie Hughes struggled after starting the day tied at 8 under. DeLaet, from Weyburn, Sask., shot a 1-over 73 to finish in a tie for 41st at 7 under. Hughes laboured even more, dropping 41 spots into 55th after a 2-over 74 day put his total score at 6 under.
Earlier in the day, Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum announced that Glen Abbey Golf Course, which is under threat of redevelopment for a new subdivision, will host the Canadian Open again in 2018. After that commitment it's not yet clear where the only PGA stop in Canada will be, although Applebaum said Golf Canada wants to keep it in the Greater Toronto Area.