Brendan Stasiewich, Special to Langley Advance Times
Saturday was another near-perfect day for Langley, British Columbia’s James Allenby, who’s third-round 67 at Point Grey Golf and Country Club has him knocking at the door of his first Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada victory at the Canada Life Open.
Opening with a 68, Allenby’s second-round 63 looked to be a tough act to follow. By all accounts, the 34-year old did just fine in his attempt on Saturday, showing poise with three birdies in his first four holes to quickly jump ahead to a five-stroke lead early in the day.
“Any time you go bogey free it’s a good round,” said Allenby, who has played his past 38 holes without a bogey. “I don’t even know how to describe today; I just plotted along and took care of business.”
Following the quick start, Allenby made 12 pars on his final 14 holes, and while Dawson Armstrong’s third-round 64 catapulted him into second place, it’s the Canadian, who had a large Vancouver contingent following along on Saturday, who heads into the final-round with a three-stroke cushion.
“It’s the way golf should be played, it feels good having people appreciate your shots,” said Allenby, when asked about the local support this week. “Because the Tour is in Canada, it’s great to have Canadians to cheer for.”
Saturday’s clean card didn’t come without some strenuous moments. A few wayward tee shots put Allenby in tough positions, however, timely scrambling aided him on the back side.
“I’m just a little bit off, off the tee,” said Allenby, making his 70th-career Mackenzie Tour start this week. “I’m not hitting as many fairways as I’d like to, I’m just missing a little bit and having some tree troubles because they’re quite close to the fairways.
“I had to pitch out once on the back nine, but I managed to get that up and down, which was a great momentum keeper.”
A victory on Sunday would not only assure him a place to play for the remainder of the season but would also garner Allenby an exemption into his first PGA TOUR event at next month’s RBC Canadian Open.
But with 18-holes to play, and four out of five Canada Life Open winners since 2014 claiming victory by two strokes or less, the Vancouver crowds could be in for excitement down the stretch on Sunday.
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