KITCHENER, Ont. — Earlier in the week, Thomas Walsh described having had two different seasons this year. His 2022 campaign kicked off in 2021 with success at Q-School earning Walsh Korn Ferry Tour status. Although he had good momentum at the start of the year, as the season progressed, the 26-year-old from High Point, North Carolina and current resident of Jacksonville, Fla. felt he was so far behind the proverbial eight-ball that to stay and try to compete in the Korn Ferry Tour tournaments was not the best option.

After appearing in 15 Korn Ferry Tour events and making six cuts, Walsh opted to “rebuild his golf game mid-season” and began playing on PGA TOUR Canada. By his own admission, he played “quite phenomenally”.

A move north has proven beneficial as Walsh has placed second twice and third once in his five tournaments since late July.

Now, Walsh is poised to win the Fortinet Cup championship and earn a Korn Ferry Tour membership once again. At less than 11 over 54 holes, he holds a four-stroke lead over Wil Bateman at Deer Ridge Golf Club.

Walsh had four birdies and a bogey on Saturday to stand out in the standings.

“I think it just means I played well and played consistently,” Walsh said. “I just waited, trying to let the birdies come to me. I hit all the fairways today.

After making 10 straight pars to start his day, Walsh then landed all of his birdies in succession. He bogeyed the 15th hole and then parried.

The closest ones weren’t so lucky. Bateman (under 7) had five birdies and an eagle, but was blocked by five bogeys. Joe Highsmith, Jeffrey Kang and Scott Stevens, who are tied for third at under 6, have also had their ups and downs.

Highsmith hit five holes. However, he also had two bogeys and a double bogey en route to a 1-under 69.

“Hopefully I can tighten things up a bit,” Highsmith said as he prepares to enter the final fifth moto behind Walsh.

Kang had better results. He returned to the running with five birdies and an eagle. The Californian only bugged one hole while moving up 15 positions.

Stevens, who entered the round one shot behind Walsh, had a double bogey on No. 6 and No. 7. As the round ended, Stevens scored four birdies to stay in the hunt, shooting a 1 of 71 .

“I had to fight for sure. Really, I just hit two bad shots. One was in the water on the par-3 and I hit it in the wrong spot on seven. I very played well after that. I settled in,” Stevens said. “I slowed down a bit. To be able to fight back and stay in tournament golf was huge.

Sunday’s final will be accompanied by the presentation of several distinctions. To start, the tournament champion will receive $40,500 and 600 Fortinet Cup points. The latter will likely go a long way in determining the overall Fortinet Cup champion, who will receive a $25,000 bonus, a 2023 Korn Ferry Tour membership and an invitation to the PGA TOUR’s RBC Canadian Open next summer.

Walsh is in a position to win both titles, but winning the Fortinet Cup championship is a must, the only part of the points race he can control.

“That would mean a lot, obviously. It was not my purpose in coming here. I didn’t even have that intention. I was just trying to play golf and prepare for (Korn Ferry Tour) Q-School,” he said. “I feel good about my game. I have confidence in what I’m doing.”

Even so, Walsh is eager to hit the first fairway on Sunday. Then it’s about giving yourself, as he puts it, bird’s eye looks, tap-ins for the pars to “stretch out a bit. The rest will hopefully take care of itself,” he added.

Did you know Wil Bateman is trying to become the second Canadian win PGA TOUR Canada Player of the Year? Tied for second in the Fortinet Cup standings and only second in the Fortinet Cup championship with 18 holes remaining, Bateman, the winner earlier this year in his hometown of Edmonton, has a good shot at joining Mackenzie Hughes (2013) with this honour. .

Key information

How the Canadians fared

William Bateman from Alberta shot a 68 in the third round and moved up to second place overall and moved closer to securing his 2023 Korn Ferry Tour membership. He is the highest scoring Canadian of the nine in the peloton this week.

pos.

Player

Sheet music

2

William Bateman

70-65-68-203 (7-less)

15

Myles Creighton

70-70-68-208 (2 under)

T21

Etienne Papineau

69-65-76-210 (even)

T21

Joey Savoie

69-69-72-210 (even)

T28

Chris Crisologo

71-70-71-212 (2-over)

T28

Brendan MacDougall

71-69-72-212 (2-over)

T28

Sudarshan Yellmaraju

72-72-68-212 (2-over)

T48

Jared du Toit

73-75-71-219 (9-plus)

T50

Chris R. Wilson

71-76-73-220 (over 10)

Fortinet Cup standings

(Through GolfBC Championship)

Rank

Player

Points

Fortinet Cup Projection Pos.

1

Jake Knapp (USA)

1,094

4

T2

Wil Bateman (Canada)

1,054

1

T2

Noah Goodwin (USA)

1,054

5

4

Scott Stevens (USA)

972

3

5

Ryan Gerard (USA)

845

6

6

Danny Walker (USA)

743

8

seven

Brian Carlson (USA)

679

9

8

Thomas Walsh (USA)

669

2

9

Ian Holt (USA)

666

ten

ten

Joe Highsmith (USA)

663

seven

Jeffrey kang, brian carlson and Gabin Hall not only did they get the day’s best score, 6-under 64, but their 6-under results are the tournament’s best scores. Going into the final round, Kang is tied for third, Carlson is tied for 21st and Hall is tied for 28th.

Scott Steve, only second at the start of the third round, fell in the standings in the middle of his front nine, when he made two consecutive bogeys, starting on the sixth hole. Stevens, fourth in the Fortinet Cup standings, fell to 4-over at that point and then recovered, with three birdies, ending his day 1-over and tied for third.

Fans are used to this now because it was more or less the same since Jo high smith. The former Pepperdine star hit a 1-under 69 for his 16th consecutive PGA TOUR Canada round of the ’60s. Highsmith will enter the final round tied for third, five strokes behind Thomas Walsh.

Current Fortinet Cup points leader James Knapp enjoyed his first under-par round of the week, shooting a 1-under 69 on Saturday that left him tied for 33rd, 3 over. He is currently expected to drop from No. 1 to No. 4 at the end of the season.

Five players have three rounds in the 60s this week: Jo high smith, Rhett Rasmussen, Nolan Ray, Tyler Strafaci and Thomas Walsh.

brian carlson shot a 79 in the second round only to fall after opening with a 3-under 67. Carlson certainly improved on Saturday. The former Purdue Boilermaker shot seven birdies, a bogey 64, and his 15-shot improvement is the best round-to-round upgrade this season, bettering the previous mark of 14 shots, held by Mast Echelmeier and Travis Trace. With 18 holes to play, Carlson is tied for 22nd after starting the day tied 42nd. In addition, Gabin Hall had a 14-stroke improvement on Saturday (78-64).

Nolan Ray and Tyler Strafaci played together for a third straight day, and once again they faced off on the scoreboard. They’ve both gone 69-67-69 this week, and they’re tied for sixth, six shots behind the overall leader. Thomas Walsh.

The 18th hole at Deer Ridge Golf Club was once again the toughest hole, with a par-4 average of 4.776. The par-4 opening hole was also once again the second toughest hole, with players averaging 4.397 on Saturday.

Quotable

“It was tough out there. I was just trying to hit it from 20 feet. The greens are faster, the wind was gusting to 20-25 (miles per hour) today. It was pretty firm So, I was just trying to give myself birdie opportunities. —Thomas Walsh

“The whole course is great. I mean #1 and #18 are really (difficult) holes, and there are plenty in between. —Joe Highsmith

“I’m just going to go out there and do my best and focus on what I can control. I know this will probably be one of the toughest rounds of my career, but I’m just going to try to handle it as best I can and focus on my breathing. —Wil Bateman

“If I can focus on what I can control, the chips will fall and we’ll see what happens.” —Wil Bateman

“It’s going to take a really good round of golf. Playing with (Thomas Walsh) the last two days, he’s played really solid. He played very well today. I will try not to force anything. You never know what can happen on the Sunday of a Tour championship. —Scott Stevens

“Hopefully I can go out and drive well tomorrow and then put my head down and keep going. We’ll see what happens.” —Thomas Walsh

“I just had to forget those two holes and move on. I feel like in the past I was trying to get it all back all at once, which you can’t do. I just thought to myself, this is a tough golf course. I can make a few birdies and try to build momentum. It paid off today. I definitely learned from the past. – Scott Stevens on his consecutive double bogeys

Third round weather: Sunny and warm, with a high of 26. Wind S at 5-7 km/h.