BRAINERD, Minn.—If the CRMC championship presented by Gertens comes down to the last three holes on Sunday, the safe bet is on Jake Knapp. The leader heading into the final round is a combined total of 12 under numbers 16, 17 and 18 this week, and it was those holes that helped him reach 20 under in 54 holes at the PGA event. TOUR Canada at Cragun’s Legacy Course.

Knapp, seeking his third career PGA TOUR Canada title, has a one-stroke lead over Trent Phillips (19 under). Conner Godsey and first- and second-round leader Alexander Herrmann are tied for third, under 18.

An eagle on the par-5 16 was what Knapp said was his hit of the day on an afternoon when he had plenty of highlights.

“I hit what I thought was a good practice and ended up in the right state and had to dodge a few trees,” Knapp said. “But I ended up with kind of a perfect cut (hit).”

Using a 2-iron, the former UCLA Bruin kept his ball low, under some branches, and landed a great shot, the ball landing on the green and rolling about 20 feet.

“I finally had a putt to drop. So that was good,” Knapp said of his later mark. “I did a lot of starts there for a while. So it was nice to see one come in.

It was Knapp’s fifth eagle of the tournament, tying a PGA TOUR Canada record with 18 holes left to play.

Knapp had a six-game par streak before the Eagle. He finished with a round of 61, collecting seven birdies along the way and a front nine score of 29. His 61 is the third of the tournament, joining Herrmann and Phillips, who also had rounds under 9 this week . Heading into Saturday’s round, Knapp’s career-low 18-hole round was a 63, which he had done twice, most recently at this season’s first event, the Royal Beach Victoria Open.

“I try to stay super patient. I tried to be really, really patient here all week,” Knapp said. “I really didn’t think the scores were going to be this low. But the course is pretty smooth and that allows me to hit shots a little closer to some of these holes.

The momentum, he added, is huge.

“I saw a few putts and a few rebounds go (my) way,” Knapp said. “It definitely makes a difference.”

The winner on Sunday receives 500 Fortinet Cup points and $36,000.

Did you know that Jake Knapp won two PGA TOUR Canada tournaments in 2019? Knapp won the season-opening Canada Life Open and the GolfBC Championship. His best performance this season was a second-place finish at the Royal Beach Victoria Open, losing in the playoffs to Scott Stevens. Knapp also placed third at the Quebec Open.

Key information

How Canada’s best fared

from Edmonton William Bateman and Myles Creighton of Digby, Nova Scotia headline Canada’s players after three rounds. They are tied for sixth and seventh respectively.

pos.

Player

Score

6

William Bateman

63-65-66—194 (under 16)

T7

Myles Creighton

65-68-62—195 (under 15)

T23

Stuart MacDonald

68-65-65—198 (under 12)

T23

Joey Savoie

64-67-67—198 (under 12)

T31

Jared du Toit

65-67-68—199 (under 10)

T42

Noah Steele

68-67-67—202 (8-less)

T47

Michael Blair

64-70-69—203 (7-less)

T51

Etienne Papineau

68-65-71—204 (6-less)

Fortinet Cup standings

(Via CentrePort Canada Rail Park Manitoba Open)

Rank

Player

Points

Third Round Tournament Pos.

Projected position

1

Wil Bateman (Canada)

731

6

2

2

Danny Walker (USA)

720

Missed cut

3

3

Brian Carlson (USA)

663

Missed cut

8

4

Scott Stevens (USA)

626

T18

6

5

Ian Holt (USA)

620

T18

seven

6

Ryan Gerard (USA)

597

5

4

seven

Parker Coody (USA)

555

T51

ten

8

Noah Goodwin (USA)

520

T47

12

9

Jake Knapp (USA)

514

1

1

ten

Thomas Walsh (USA)

508

T7

9

With James Knapp as of week #9 in the Fortinet Cup standings, he should take the top spot if he continues to win. Current leader Will batman may have something to say about it. He is still in the hunt, alone in sixth place, four strokes behind Knapp with 18 holes to play.

Jake Knapp has never held a third-round lead in a PGA TOUR Canada event until this week. In his two previous victories on the PGA TOUR Canada, he held the first and second rounds of the 2019 Golf BC Championship, but came back from a headshot on the final day to win by a stroke. At the 2019 Canada Life Open in Vancouver, Knapp was second over 18 and 36 holes and tied for fourth, five strokes behind point guard James Allenby, over 54 holes. Knapp won by two strokes.

In his six PGA TOUR Canada starts this season, Thirty Phillips made five cuts. In the previous four tournaments he has played on weekends, he has had stellar third rounds. That didn’t change on Saturday, with his 8-under 62. In his previous four third rounds, he posted scores of 67-67-64-64. Phillips, a former University of Georgia All-American, is a combined 32 under in his third round this season. With an average of 65.5 in the third round, he leads the Tour. Among players who have made the cut at least four times, Phillips is on average two strokes ahead of Brendan MacDougall and Harrisson Ott.

Entry this week Jeffrey kang, Jo high smith and Luke Schniederjans shared the lead for the most eagles this season: eight. James Knapp now has 10 eagles this season. With Kang retiring from the CRMC Championship presented by Gertens and Schniederjans missing the cut without registering an eagle, Knapp is tied with Highsmith for first place. Highsmith made two eagles this week.

This week, James Knapp became the fifth player in PGA TOUR Canada history to score five eagles in a tournament. The other four are Theo Humphrey (Windsor Championship 2018), Ryan Elmore (2018 Elk Ridge Open), Joel Dahmen (Wildfire Invitation 2014) and Kelvin Day (Great Waterway Classic 2014).

Ian Holt holds the record for most eagles in a season, with 16 in 2019. That season, James Knapp finished third on the Eagles, with 13. During his PGA TOUR Canada career, he hit 28 Eagles.

Ryan Gerard and Fortinet Cup points leader William Bateman are still in contention as they seek to become the first player to achieve multiple wins this season. Gerard will start the final round three strokes behind Jake Knapp at 17 under, while Bateman is at 16 under. Ranking of the other 2022 winners after 54 holes: Scott Stevens (18th tied). Noah Goodwin (tied 47th) Parker Coody (tied 51st).

Jake Knapp insists it wasn’t on purpose. He wore a purple shirt on Saturday. In Minnesota, it’s usually a show of support for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. “It’s not, unfortunately,” the Southern California native said. “But I have a (fantasy league) draft on Sunday, so maybe I’ll sign some of the guys from the Vikings.

The weather was a bit of a factor. It rained and it was sunny. “Luckily it wasn’t too long,” said Trent Phillips. “But the wind was swirling a bit here and there and making the shots a bit more difficult.” However, he added: “It wasn’t too bad.”

Saturday’s best climber was austin hitwho shot a 63 to move up 27 positions in the standings and find himself tied for 23rd place, under 12 years old. Derek Oland moved up 22 places and is 11 under (tied for 28th). canadian Myles Creighton shot a 62 to jump in a tie for seventh, at 15 under.

Jordan Niebrugge (6-less) and Devin Morley (5-under) are the only Monday qualifiers still playing the tournament. This season, 18 of the 60 qualifiers (28%) have survived the cut.

Quotable

“When you play well, everything seems a lot easier.” —Jake Knapp

“I stayed in the tournament. Maybe I missed a shot or two on the back nine. I didn’t quite make it through today’s round. — Alexander Hermann

“When I play my best golf, I don’t do anything really spectacular. I’m just living, breathing and swinging the golf club. —Trent Phillips

“Golf is such a game. There’s so much momentum involved. So once you start feeling good, you can try riding it. —Conner Godsey

“The first day I kind of banged my head against the wall, and even going back to last week, I was just missing the cut by one, I just felt like there was a lid on I felt like I was starting to see the (putting) lines a bit better yesterday and was able to start and put in a good one today.—Austin Hitt

Third round weather: Cloudy changing to partly sunny at times. Rain fell intermittently, with the course receiving 0.2 inches. High of 79. Wind S at 8-11 mph.