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Brandt Snedeker leads Canadian amateur at Canadian Open

Brandt Snedeker eagles No. 18 and has a one-stroke lead at the Canadian Open.

Brandt Snedeker eagles No. 18 and has a one-stroke lead at the Canadian Open.

OAKVILLE, Ontario — Jared du Toit was in position to become the first Canadian to win the Canadian Open in 62 years — and the first amateur to break through on the PGA Tour in 25 seasons.

Brandt Snedeker was in a little better position. And U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson was right there, too.

"I think I'm going to be the most hated man in Canada (today), but it's going to be a lot of fun trying to figure it out," said Snedeker, the 2013 winner at Glen Abbey who eagled the par-5 18th on Saturday for 6-under 66 and a one-stroke lead over du Toit and Johnson.

Du Toit matched Snedeker with eagle on 18, holing a 40-footer for 70. On Friday, du Toit rebounded from triple bogey and bogey with three straight birdies.

"I've never kind of been in this kind of pressure, this atmosphere before," said du Toit, an Arizona State senior from Kimberley, British Columbia. "I'm here having fun and trying to go and play golf. It hasn't set in so far, but loving every minute of it."

Pat Fletcher, born in England, was the last Canadian winner in 1954 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914. Albert Murray, a Canadian also born in England, won in 1908 and 1913. Phil Mickelson was the last amateur winner on the tour in the 1991 Northern Telecom Open.

"I'm honestly just out here to have some fun and enjoy the atmosphere," du Toit said. "Obviously, I want to play well tomorrow, but it's kind of my first go at it. Win or lose, I'm happy with the way this week's gone."

He has Snedeker's attention.

"He's great," Snedeker said. "For a 21-year-old kid, to be playing golf here is awesome, let alone to do it in your national open. I mean, I can't imagine the nerves this kid has to be playing as great of golf as he has. I'm looking forward to meeting him. I'm looking forward to playing with him, and I'm going to do everything I can to help him have a great day tomorrow."

Snedeker overpowered the 18th, hitting a 378-yard drive and 121-yard approach to set up the 6-footer.

"Now I know what it feels like to be Dustin Johnson," Snedeker said about his drive on 18. "Just had downwind, greens and fairways are so firm, if you get it. Unfortunately, them being firm, you have about 2 yards to get the ball in the fairway. I hit it right on my line, one of the best swings I've made all day."

Johnson, tied for the lead with Luke List after each of the first two days, birdied 18 for 71. List was 2 under after 77.

CHAMPIONS: Miguel Angel Jimenez opened a four-stroke lead in the Senior British Open in Carnoustie, Scotland, shooting 7-under 65 in mild conditions to fall one short of matching the Carnoustie Golf Links record.

Jimenez, 52, had a bogey-free round in wind at 6-12 mph on the mostly cloudy afternoon. He had 11-under 205 total after opening 70-70, putting him in position for his first major title.

"Tonight, I'm going to do exactly the same thing I did the previous night," the 52-year-old Spaniard said. "I go with my friends, we go to a nice diner with a nice bottle of Rioja and after that I'm going to have a big, fat cigar with a nice malt whisky."

Paul Broadhurst (68), Wes Short Jr. (69), Tom Byrum (71) and Joe Durant (72) were tied for second. Durant had shared the second-round lead with Kohki Idoki, who had 77 to drop into a tie for 18th at 2 under.

LPGA: Charley Hull and England grabbed the lead in the International Crown, and the United States advanced with a sweep against Japan in Gurnee, Ill. Seventh-seeded England has a Pool B-best nine points. The U.S., which began the day with three, qualified for today's singles matches with its best day so far.

AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP: Former tennis player Mardy Fish had a 28-point round to take a two-point lead over actor Jack Wagner in the celebrity tournament in Stateline, Nev.

Brandt Snedeker leads Canadian amateur at Canadian Open 07/23/16 [Last modified: Saturday, July 23, 2016 9:25pm]
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