Sat, 23 Sep 2023

C.T. Pan (66) takes 2-shot lead at Canadian Open

Field Level Media
11 Jun 2023, 11:19 GMT+10

C.T. Pan fired a second consecutive 66 to take a two-shot lead after 54 holes at the RBC Canadian Open in Toronto on Saturday.

Pan sits at 14-under-par 202, two shots ahead of a cadre of six players who are giving chase, including heavyweights Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.

England's Aaron Rai (Saturday 69) and Canadian Nick Taylor are within striking distance in a tie for eighth, three shots back. Taylor fired a low-round 63 to vault 39 places up the leaderboard on moving day.

Canadian Corey Conners (70) is in solo 10th at 10 under.

Second-round leader and PGA Tour rookie Carl Yuan of China shot 74 on Saturday and dropped into a tie for 16th at 7 under.

Pan started strong, carding birdies on his first two holes of the day en route to finishing with seven altogether against one bogey. The 31-year-old from Chinese Taipei has one career tour victory (2019 RBC Heritage).

Then he finished strong, going birdie-birdie to end his round and hold the 54-hole lead/co-lead for the first time in his 168th start on tour.

"It's always cool to see my name on the top of the leaderboard. Not just leaderboards, just to be in contention," Pan said. "That's all I want to do before the tournament started. Finished birdie, birdie. That put me in a good spot. But I still got a lot of work to do."

Especially with a who's who of the golfers chasing him.

England's Tommy Fleetwood fired a 64 to move up 21 spots, Northern Ireland's McIlroy shot 66 to move up 10, and England's Rose carded a 66 to move up 10 spots into a tie for second.

"I got off to a great start," McIlroy said. "Three-under through that first nine holes I felt was a really good effort. Kept it going through the first part of the back nine. Then the putter went a little cold on me over those last five holes. But, yeah, overall, it's great to put myself in with a shot tomorrow. There's a lot of people up there around the lead, so it's going to be a fun day."

Harry Higgs (67), Mark Hubbard (66) and Andrew Novak (67) are also just two strokes back.

Higgs is one of four players sitting at T2 who's seeking his first win on Tour, joining Hubbard, Fleetwood and Novak.

"I got to remind myself that a chance to win on Sunday, each shot is not life or death," Higgs said. "Like, I cannot win it by hitting it in the fairway on the first hole. I cannot win it by hitting it close to the flag on first hole. I cannot win it by making a 6-footer on the first hole. Everything ends over there on 18.

"I've got a nice little game plan, but tomorrow's the hardest day to do it. But I am looking forward to the opportunity to do so."

--Field Level Media

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