Mission IMpossible at The Great Waterway Classic

– Daniel Im Stuns Field with 63; David Dragoo Carries Lead Into Final Round-

David Dragoo of Arizona will carry a one-stroke lead into the final round of The Great Waterway Classic. (photo: Canadian Tour)

Gananoque, Ontario – On a day when the only things that looked comfortable outside were the ducks, Daniel Im proved that it still was a day for golfers as well.  Based on the scores of his fellow competitors at the Canadian Tour Great Waterway Classic, he might have been the only one to get the memo.

Im,a two-time winner on the Canadian Tour, survived heavily gusting winds and the occasional downpour to shoot an improbable 63 and make the group of current course record holders an even foursome. It also put him at -11 and within reach of the lead after three rounds. It was the best round of the day by five shots.

Im got off to a fast start off the back side, making six birdies on his first seven holes.  His only bauble came on the 18th hole, his ninth, where he dropped a shot.  Playing partner Mike Mezei seemed appropriately floored by Im’s charge.  “It was amazing; his putting was as rock solid as I have ever seen anybody putt.”

A tweet by Canadian Tour member Darren Wallace was typical of player reaction. “Daniel Im’s 63 today was one of the best rounds I’ve ever heard of…i can only compare the weather to caddy shack.”

With weather conditions being so trying (winds were steady at 40 Km/h at their peak and gusting over 60), Im launched his way up a leaderboard that was full of players in free fall.

That included the pair sharing second place after round two, Joe Panzeri and Carlos Sainz, Jr.

Panzeri struggled to a 76 while Sainz, Jr., threw up his own 74 to tumble down the rankings.

Not having as much issue with the weather, based on score alone, was red-hot Eugene Wong.  Wong, who has won in his last two starts at the Canadian Tour Championship and the Vancouver Open, posted a four under par 68 on Saturday and finished at 12 under par total.

“It was tough out there; it brought me back to my days in college where we played through the most brutal conditions ever.  Being at Oregon (University of Oregon) I played in all of it.”

Wong says the challenge was made easier now that he is in the professional ranks.  “It’s a whole lot easier now that I have a caddy. I used to be by myself, carrying my bag and doing the umbrella work.  It’s kind of like I have half the work to do.”

The rookie pros says he kept himself focused on Saturday, forging on despite the weather.  “I just kept reminding myself that other people have shot low in conditions like this before so why can’t I do it.”

Heading into Sunday Wong will be trailing David Dragoo by a single stroke after the overnight leader shot 71, even par, on Saturday.

While he did not move ahead at all, Dragoo was satisfied with his play.

“It was survival of the fittest.  You just have to try and shoot a score that keeps you in the tournament. There’s a 63 that I think is amazing but with the exception of that I think even par or one under was an excellent score today.”

Dragoo says holes five through fourteen played particularly tough for him, as it was under squall conditions. “It was about a zero on a scale of good from one to ten.  We had some good periods but the wind was pretty much there all day.”

Looking ahead to the final round Dragoo says the expected good weather will simply return him back to his normal plan for playing the Smuggler’s Glen course.

“I think if you put the ball in the fairway on this golf course you can make a lot of birdies. I think you just have to kind of let it come to you; you don’t want to be impatient out here because that is how you’ll get in trouble.  That’s what I did the first two days and it felt kind of easy.  That’s what I want to feel like again tomorrow.”

On the regional front Oliver Tubb of Stirling, Ontario remains the best of the bunch.  He added a 70 to his total on Saturday to reach -5 overall.  He starts the final round tied for 18th place.

Kingston’s Brad Boyle, in his pro debut, is tied for 29th after a 72 in the third round.

Marc-Etienne Bussieres of Gatineau, Quebec is tied for 41st place after a 72.

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