Robert MacIntyre eagles 17th, takes 4-stroke lead into the final round of the RBC Canadian Open


HAMILTON, Ontario — Robert MacIntyre made a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th to cap a late surge Saturday and take a four-stroke lead into the final round of the RBC Canadian Open.

Tied for the second-round lead with Ryan Fox, MacIntyre shot a 4-under 66 to get to 14-under 196 at Hamilton Golf and Country Club. The 27-year-old Scottish left-hander is winless in 44 career PGA Tour starts.

“I think it’s my attitude now,” MacIntyre said. “I’ve spoken about it all week. I’ve been in a good mindset from the get-go and had zero expectation at the start of the week.”

Mackenzie Hughes, trying to become the second straight Canadian to win the national championship, was tied for second with Fox and Ben Griffin.

“Obviously, a lot of it will depend on what Robert does,” Hughes said. “I mean, if he plays a great round of golf tomorrow he’ll be almost impossible to catch. That’s why we play four days. You never know, weird things have happened before.”

From nearby Dundas, Hughes shot a 67. He missed a 9-foot eagle putt on 17, then bogeyed the par-4 18th.

“Starting the day, I knew Saturday’s harder than Friday, and Sunday will be harder than Saturday,” Hughes said. “So really going into it knowing that I kind of prepared myself to be in the right mindset. For me it was not trying too hard, not forcing things. For the most part I would say I did a pretty good job.”

Last year at Oakdale in Toronto, Nick Taylor made a 72-foot eagle putt on the fourth hole of a playoff against Tommy Fleetwood to become the first Canadian to win the event since 1954.

Fox had a 70. He played the first five holes in 4 under with a eagle and two birdies, then made four bogeys on the final 13 — three in a four-hole span in the middle of the back nine.

Griffin bogeyed the 18th in a 65.

Fleetwood (64) was 9 under along with Sam Burns (67), Trace Crowe (67) and Joel Dahmen (69).

“You have to just take what the golf course gives you,” Fleetwood said.

Two-time Canadian Open champion Rory McIlroy was tied for 11th at 7 under after a 65. He won in 2019 the last time the tournament was in Hamilton and again in 2022 at St. George’s in Toronto.

“I feel like an honorary Canadian at this point,” McIlroy said. “The support I get here is amazing. I keep saying it, but just a pleasure to play in an atmosphere like that.

Taylor missed the cut with rounds of 72 and 71.

MacIntyre played the first 13 holes in 1 over, making three birdies and four bogeys. After a bogey on the par-3 13th, he began the late charge with a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-4 14th. He ran in a 50-footer on the par-4 15th and a 10-footer on the par-3 16th before holing the eagle putt on 17.

“I just stuck in there,” MacIntyre said. “I didn’t have it great at the start, but I feel like whenever I dropped a shot I bounced back with maybe two good shots into the green, and I would pick up a shot back. I just, it never got away from me. A bit of luck, a bit of myself being staying in the moment, staying calm. I got my reward with the putter in the end.”

The former McNeese State star played on Europe’s winning 2023 Ryder Cup team and has two European tour victories, the 2020 Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown and 2022 Italian Open.

His father, Dougie, is working as his caddie this week.

“He’s been through thick and thin with me,” MacIntyre said. “He taught me how to play the game of golf.”

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf



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