In-form Stallings and Piercy can push Garrigus
CANADIAN OPEN - story of round three
ON a low-scoring third day at Hamilton, big-hitting journeyman Robert Garrigus moved into a one-shot lead with a six-under-par 64 - and there isn't a star name in sight to frighten him.
After starting the week as a 50-1 shot in a field headed by new Open champion Ernie Els and Players Championship winner Matt Kuchar, the man best remembered for the tournament he blew rather than the one he won is now an 11-8 shot to add to his lone tour triumph, the 2010 Children's Miracle Network Classic.
He came from a long way back for that but earlier in the year he had stood on the last tee at the St Jude Classic needing only a double-bogey six to beat Lee Westwood and Robert Karlsson.
Instead, after losing arguments with river and trees, he chalked up a seven and lost in a play-off.
So how he will perform from the front is still to be truly tested but what we know from this year is that he and Luke Donald both had six-foot birdie putts in extra-time at the Transitions Championship, Garrigus went first, looked incredibly nervous and missed, Donald knocked his in for the victory.
Garrigus is too nice for his own good but greatly in his favour today is that there are no Donalds or Westwoods knocking around, his nearest challenger is non-winner William McGirt and the third-placed Scott Piercy has won just the once, like himself, and that in very modest company at last year's Renoe-Tahoe Classic.
It looks between that trio as it's two shots back to the next tranche, last Sunday's True South winner Scott Stallings, Chris Kirk and the ever-reliable Bo Van Pelt, who does not win as often as he should.
Stallings and Kirk, along with Retief Goosen, shot the low rounds of the day, 63s, and have improved three strokes each day, returning scores of 69-66-63.
At that rate of progress one of them is going to shot a 60 and for a long time it looked as Kirk was going to do exactly that as he went out in just 29 and went seven under the card with another birdie at the tenth. That was as far as it went, though.
Piercy, Kirk, Stallings and McGirt all played well enough in their previous outings, Stallings in particular as he arrived in Canada fresh from that victory in Mississippi, to entertain realistic hopes of turning Garrigus over and with layers paying a fifth the first three, there 's some value in opposing what could be a very flaky leader.
Although Stallings has four shots to make up, he is on such an adrenaline rush that an each-way investment at 16-1 holds strong appeal with Piercy, 12th at The Greenbrier and third at Deere Run on his two previous outings and maintaining that great form, a 4-1 saver for the win money.
Leaderboard: -16 Garrigus, -15 McGirt, -14 Piercy, -12 Stallings, Kirk, Van Pelt, -10 Palmer, Cauley, Holmes, Teater, -9 V Singh, Goosen, Todd, Kisner.
Best prices: 11-8 Garrigus, 4 Piercy, 9-2 McGirt, 10 Van Pelt, 16 Stallings, Kirk, 40 Palmer, Cauley, 50 Holmes, 66 Teater, 100 Singh, Goosen
S Stallings, 1pt each-way 16-1 general
S Piercy, 2pts 4-1 general
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