The 26-year-old dropped a 35-foot birdie putt on the final hole to put an exclamation point on a 4-under 67 for a 54-hole total of 10-under 203. Fellow Mexican Antonio Maldonado and American Roger Tambellini are two shots back, while Torontos Cory Jones is at 7-under 206.
After knocking his approach on the par-5 final hole left into a greenside bunker, Corral blasted out 35 feet past the cup before canning the long birdie putt to give himself a little breathing room. On Sunday, Corral will be looking to become the second Mexican-born player in the past year to win a Tour event on his home soil after receiving a sponsors exemption. Last April, Pablo del Olmo cruised to a four-shot triumph at the inaugural Michelin Ixtapa Classic. Corral joined the Canadian Tour in 2001 but had an off year in 2002 and failed to retain his card. A win here would make him exempt for the remainder of this season, as well as 2004 and 2005.
Im not going to think to much about the hometown crowd and put any pressure on myself, admitted Corral. For me to win here would be a major accomplishment, it has been a while since I have been in this position. If you look at the top of the leaderboard, youll see a lot of Mexican players up there and I think that speaks for the talent level in this country.
Making up the final group of the day Sunday will be Corral, Tambellini and Maldonado. As luck would have it, Corral and Tambellini were college teammates at the University of Southern California and remain close friends off the course. In fact, the two were going out for dinner Saturday with their girlfriends and a few Tour players.
Well go out tonight, enjoy some good food and good music and maybe talk a little golf, added Corral. He is a great friend and it will be a lot of fun Sunday. Well talk, stay relaxed and have a good time. Whoever plays the best, whether they are in our group or not, will come out on top. There are a lot of solid players going to be chasing us all day.
Tambellini, who is also a member on the Nationwide Tour, has three second-place finishes during his Canadian Tour career, including back in February at the TravelTex.com Canadian Tour Classic in Austin, TX. When asked if Sunday would be the day he shook the bridesmaids label, Tambellini, like Corral, wouldnt take the bait.
Im not really thinking about that kind of thing, Ill just play it one shot at a time and see where it goes, said the former NCAA All-American after his 5-under 66. I hit the ball really well today and if not for a few mistakes, I could have taken it really low. It was just one of those rounds. But Ill tee it up with Jorge tomorrow, have some fun and see if I can put up another good round. Thats what it is going to take.
Following Sundays final round, the Canadian Tour will pack up and head south for next weeks Corona Ixtapa Classic.