Charley Hoffman birdied the final hole for a seven-under 65 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Canadian Open.
The 40-year-old Hoffman had six birdies in a seven-hole stretch at Glen Abbey that ended on the 15th before he bogeyed the par-4 17th only to rebound with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 18th.
Hoffman was one ahead of fellow American Kevin Chappell, who bogeyed the last hole after finding water to card a six-under 66, with Gary Woodland and Robert Garrigus a further stroke behind.
“When you’re playing good, I always say golf is fairly easy,” Hoffman said. “It’s been a fun run the last month or two months, actually all year, and it’s not very stressful, which is good. When you’re trying to make cuts, that’s when golf is hard. … Have my family out for the next five weeks. They are off for summer break. It’s been fun to hang out and go over to Europe with them and Canada. It’s been a good, fun summer vacation.”
Hoffman’s last tournament success came at the Texas Open last year where he secured his fourth PGA Tour title.
“Anything can happen in the last four or five holes,” Hoffman added. “Guys can make eagles, birdies, bogeys. Anything can happen. Obviously, want to get off to a good start on the front nine and play the back nine the way I need to and see how it goes.”
Chappell had nine birdies and three bogeys in his six-under 66 but a bogey at the 18th, after hitting his third shot into the water, saw the American finish his round on a disappointing note.
Woodland shot a third round 68 while Garrigus, who matched the course record with a 62, sit a further stroke behind. Garrigus had two eagles and six birdies to tie the Glen Abbey mark set by Leonard Thompson in 1981 and matched by Andy Bean in 1983, Greg Norman in 1986 and John Merrick in 2013.
“Kind of started off with that eagle on 2,” Garrigus said. “Missed the green short, like a 30-footer up the hill, through the rough through the first cut and rolled on to the green and went in.
“Next hole, I stuffed it in there. I chipped in on the par 3 and stuffed it on the other par 3 and made it and I chipped in on 8, and I’m just thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, what is going on right now. I’m not going to think about anything. I’m just going to keep going.'”
Defending champion Jhonattan Vegas had a 67 to join Sam Saunders, Andres Gonzales, Tony Finau, Ryan Ruffels and Brandon Hagy at 14-under. Saunders is Arnold Palmer’s grandson.
Second-round leader Martin Flores had a 72 to drop into a tie for 16th at 12-under while world No 1 Dustin Johnson also lies at 12-under-par after a 68.
“I feel like the game’s starting to come back in good form,” Johnson said. “Other than a drive here and there, it was a really good day.”
Former world number one and 2004 winner Vijay Singh failed to continue his impressive play from Friday, carding a 71 that had him tied with seven other players at 11-under.
The 54-year-old is seeking to become the oldest winner in PGA Tour history
Watch the final round of the Canadian Open on Sunday live on Sky Sports Golf.