Garth Collings came back to earth, but not back to the pack.
Collings, who enjoyed the best round of his career with a course record 10-under 62 on Monday, had some trouble early but regrouped to shoot one-under 71 yesterday to maintain his eight-shot lead heading into the final round of the Manitoba Mid-Amateur Championship at Steinbach Fly-In Golf Club.
"I was on such a high and I think that's what got to me in the morning," said Collings, who was two-over after eight holes but had three birdies and seven pars to close out the round and get him to 11-under 133. "I was thinking about what I did (on Monday), which is what I have to get away from. But with 71, I'm happy with that. I'm a little surprised the scores haven't been that great. They're not bad but nobody else has shot under 70. I don't know what's going on here."
When he tees off today, the Breezy Bend member will be looking to nail down his third Manitoba Mid-Amateur to go with the three consecutive Saskatchewan Mid-Amateur crowns already in his trophy case.
Helmut Dahl of the Province Golf Club in B.C. sits second at three-under 141, while Bruce North of Carman is third at 142.
North, who played with Collings in each of the first two rounds, said it's been a treat to watch.
"It was nothing but fun, Garth and I have played a lot of golf together," said North. "When Garth shot 62, there's not too many people around Manitoba who didn't know who was probably going to win the golf tournament. He's such a good player, he's not going to come back to the pack. He's got a national reputation and we're all really proud of him. I like the way he carries himself and I like the way he plays golf. I'm a fan as well."
Ab Guanlao of PAGASA, Gary Kullman of Elmhurst and Dean Stowell of Transcona are in a three-way tie for fourth at 143.
The Top-4 players after today's final round will represent Manitoba at the RCGA Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship in Charlottetown, PEI from Aug. 22 to 28.
CHIP SHOTS: Dean North of St. Charles has a two-stroke advantage on Rob Doucette of Southside heading into the final round of the Manitoba PGA championship at Elmhurst. Rana McLeod of Teulon won the women's title.