Furyk leads by three as local hopes fade at Canadian Open

Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:52pm EDT
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(Reuters) - American Jim Furyk moved closer to ending a personal winless streak of nearly four years when he earned a three-shot lead after the third round at the Canadian Open in Montreal on Saturday.

But a much longer national drought is likely to continue after Canadian hope Graham DeLaet three-putted the final hole to fall seven strokes from the lead on the Royal Montreal Blue Course.

No Canadian has won the country’s national open since English-born Pat Fletcher in 1954, and it has been 100 years since the last Canadian-born player triumphed.

That was of no concern to Furyk, who extended his bogey-free stretch to 50 holes as he plotted his way to a five-under-par 65.

He was not at his very sharpest, but displayed a deft short game to post a 15-under 195 total, while South African Tim Clark, boosted by an unlikely eagle at the par-four second, carded a 64 to vault into second place on 12-under.

Furyk, a 16-time PGA Tour winner, will join illustrious company if he wins on Sunday and becomes just the fifth player to win the Canadian Open three times since the event’s inception in 1904.

But the 2006 and 2007 champion will be mindful that he has let several good chances slip away since his most recent tour victory, at the 2010 Tour Championship, posting five runner-up finishes in the ensuing period.

“I’ll try not to really focus on where I stand,” he told PGATour.com. “I just need to worry about my own game and take from the last three days how well I’ve played and basically try to do the same things tomorrow.”

Clark, meanwhile, made an ideal start with a birdie at the first hole, before holing out from 50 yards at the next.   Continued...

Jul 25, 2014; Ile Bizard, Quebec, CAN; Jim Furyk tees off the 10th hole during the second round of the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal GC - Blue Course.  Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports