26 Jul 2015

Wilkinson survives 2nd Canadian cut

2:33 pm on 26 July 2015

The Manawatu golfer Tim Wilkinson will play in the final round of the Canadian golf open while Hamilton's Steve Alker missed the third round cut.

Tim Wilkinson

Tim Wilkinson Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Following rounds of 72 and 70, Wilkinson's third round three under par 69 lifted him to five under for the tournament and a tie for 48th, four strokes clear of the rare second cut.

Alker was not so lucky after a blowing out to a third round 77 that dropped him to one over for the tournament.

A star-studded group that includes Australian Jason Day and the American Bubba Watson will attempt to prevent David Hearn from becoming the first Canadian to win his national golf championship since Pat Fletcher in 1954.

Hearn, however, shot a solid four-under 68 to give himself a two-shot cushion at 15-under-par 201 after three rounds at Glen Abbey.

Day and Watson sit two shots behind the Canadian, while Americans Brooks Koepka and Michael Putnam were at 12 under.

American Jim Furyk and Colombia's Camilo Villegas headline a group of five at 11-under.

"It doesn't really matter what names are where or who is doing what," Hearn said. "If I can keep playing the way I have these first three days, I really like my chances."

"It would be great to see a Canadian win, but I'm going to do my best to spoil that," said Day, who finished tied for fourth at the British Open last Monday.

The 36-year-old Hearn, who hails from nearby Brantford and grew up five blocks away from Wayne Gretzky's childhood home, received a lift from the supportive Canadian crowd.

"It was so much fun to play in front of these hometown crowds," he said. "They were just amazing to play in front of. It's something I'll always remember."

Hearn's bid to end the 61-year Canadian drought in this tournament is the best showing since Mike Weir lost in a three-hole playoff to Vijay Singh in 2004.

Weir entered the final round with a three-shot advantage over Singh.

Hearn has yet to win in 166 PGA Tour events, though he came close in a playoff loss to Danny Lee earlier this month at the Greenbrier Classic and to Jordan Spieth at the 2013 John Deere Classic.