|Josh Habig participates in the Player's Cup at Pine Ridge. (QMI Agency)
His goal was to put himself in more of these pressure situations and now, San Diego’s Josh Habig will have another chance.
Habig carded a 4-under 67 on Saturday at Pine Ridge Golf Club to move to 12-under 201 and take a one-stroke lead over Tom Hoge of Fargo, N.D., heading into the final round at the $200,000 Canadian Tour Players Cup hosted by Jonathan Toews.
Habig, who won his first Canadian Tour event here in 2006, will be in the final pairing with Hoge on Sunday. They’ll tee off at 1 p.m.
“It’s great, that’s what you want and I’m anxious to see how I’ll handle it,” said Habig, who had a string of four straight birdies beginning on the third hole and six overall on his card. “Get out there and try to get into the same kind of mode I was in (Saturday), take an aggressive stance to the course. It will be strategic, but I’ll tee it up as if it’s Day 1 and try to make birdies. My goal is to extend the lead.”
Hoge, who earned his spot in the Monday qualifier at Elmhurst and is playing in his third tournament as a pro, shot 69 to sit at 11-under 202.
“I kept it together on the front nine when I was a little bit shaky,” Hoge said. “I’ll rest up, get a good night’s sleep and then come out and be patient and stay the course and do what I’ve been doing the whole week.
“I’ve been fortunate enough through amateur tournaments to put myself in this position. I just try to take it as just another round of golf out there.”
Benjamin Alvarado of Chile is alone in third spot at 8-under 205, as his round of 67 included an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys.
Chris Killmer of Bellingham, Wash., and Jason Scrivener of Australia are tied for fourth at 206.
The winner earns $32,000 and an automatic berth in next week’s $5-million RBC Canadian Open in Vancouver.
Moving day brought a few really low scores as Jae Woo Im of Korea and Brad Fritsch of Ottawa tied for the low round at 6-under 65.
“I haven’t been making a lot of putts this year and a 25-footer on three really got me going there,” said Im, who bogeyed the final hole. “I’m not overlooking anything or underlooking anything. I’m just 100% focused on every shot (during the final round). I’d love to be leading, but chasing is always fun too.”
Fritsch’s round included an ace on the 152-yard, par-3 seventh with a nine-iron.
“You can’t see the hole but the guy in the group in front of me kind of ran over and jumped up and down and put his arms up,” said Fritsch, who had the sixth hole-in-one of his career and third in tournament play. “That was really exciting.”