[Calgary]—At the end of Thursday’s third round and quarterfinal matches, four players were left standing at Country Hills’ Talons Course in Calgary for the PGA Championship of Canada sponsored by Mr. Lube and presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf.
Eddward Boudreau (Gorge Vale Golf Club), Lindsay Bernakevitch (Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club), Brad Clapp (Chilliwack Golf & Country) and Eric Laporte (Club de Golf Montcalm), each won their respective bracket and now are just two wins away from capturing the historic P.D. Ross.
In the Stan Leonard bracket, Boudreau first survived an onslaught of seven-straight front nine birdies by John McCann (Fairtree Golf Centre) in his third round match, eventually winning 1-up. In his afternoon quarterfinal match, the 2003 PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada winner bested Conor O’Shea (The Academy at Piper’s Heath) 2&1.
“That was just amazing, I didn’t know what to think,” Boudreau said of his morning match against McCann. “I’m making three or four birdies myself and I’m still three down and I didn’t know what to think, but I knew I just needed to be grinding.”
Over in the Al Balding bracket, Bernakevitch, who hasn’t registered a three putt the entire week, earned a third round win, 3&2 over last year’s semifinalist Dean Brown (Royal Regina Golf Club), before a 4&2 win over the No.5-seeded Dave Levesque (Club de Golf La Prairie).
Last year’s PGA of BC Championship winner said he’s been impressed all week long with the quality of this week’s championship.
“It’s awesome—from the volunteers, to the members and the spectators—it’s been absolutely first class,” Bernakevitch said. “It makes us feel really special being treated this way and it’s been a lot of fun to come out and play.”
Laporte, who hasn’t trailed in any of his four matches, t took down last year’s Club Professional Championship of Canada winner Roger Beal (Royal Westmoreland)5&4, before beating another 2011 national champion—Mike Belbin—1-up in his afternoon quarterfinal match.
With two straight days of sun, warmer temperatures and winds, the Talons Course has begun to firm up. Laporte said the conditions suit his game just fine.
“This course is pretty tough to play. The greens are very fast and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen greens like this—fast and firm,” Laporte said. “It’s a good course for my golf game and I just need to play like I have the last four games and it will be OK for me.”
The Moe Norman bracket saw Brad Clapp come out victorious after beating fellow BC players, Bryn Parry and Philip Jonas.
In his match against the third-seeded Parry, Clapp made birdie on No. 18 to force extra holes. In the playoff, he missed a short putt on the 20th hole (No. 2) before finally ending it on the 22nd hole.
“I missed a pretty short putt on No. 2 and you can’t give a player like Bryn too many opportunities and open any doors because he’s one of the best players at taking advantage of that.,” Clapp said.
Clapp, who at 25-years old is the youngest of the four remaining players, feels he’s mentally and physically prepared for two more rounds of match play.
“I think you’d be silly to not prepare yourself to go to the finals,” he said. Last week I think I had 110 competitive holes in four days, so I’ve had a lot of golf lately, so I’ve sort of prepared myself that way.
Friday morning’s semi final matches shape up like this: Boudreau vs. Bernakevitch in the top half of the bracket, and Laporte vs. Clapp in the bottom half with the winners meeting in the championship match at 1:30 p.m.
With Parry, Levesque and Belbin all being knocked out of the tournament on Thursday, Brian McCann (The Academy at BraeBen) will earn an exemption into next month’s RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club.
McCann will keep his spot atop PGA of Canada Player Rankings presented by RBC when the updated rankings are released next week.
To view all match results from Thursday’s third round and quarter finals and for live scoring of Friday’s matches, CLICK HERE.