Quinney In Drivers Seat Entering Final Round


Canadian Tour-LargeOn a day when ideal scoring conditions sent scores plummeting, Jeff Quinney of Scottsdale still managed to pad his lead after Saturdays third round of the Canadian Tours Scottsdale Swing near Phoenix.
The 2000 U.S. Amateur champion, who held a four-shot lead heading into Saturday, fired a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 19-under 197. Quinney is now seven shots in front of Patrick Moore (Cornelius, N.C.). Jim Rutledge of Victoria remains the top Canadian at 9-under, while Winnipegs Dan Halldorson had a 6-under 66 to get to 7-under 209.
The Canadian Tour record for the lowest 72-hole score on a par-72 layout is 27-under, set by South African Tim Clark at the 1998 Royal Oaks New Brunswick Open.
With virtually no wind blowing and temperatures reaching the mid-80s, the top 14 players combined to shoot 68-under on the 7,044-yard layout. Drew Scott of Pinehurst, NC, who carded an 8-under 64, one shot shy of the course record set by Quinney on Thursday. Scott is alone in third at 11-under.
Quinney, the former three-time NCAA All-American at Arizona State University, has now had 11 consecutive rounds under par in his brief Canadian Tour career, placing second and fifth in the opening two events this year. And while a seven-shot cushion may seem quite comfortable, Quinney stressed no lead is insurmountable.
I think this course can be brought to its knees on a good day, so my goal wont be to go out and shoot 72, said Quinney, who has hit 47 of 54 greens through the first three days. Ill try to shoot 4 or 5-under and go from there.
The 23-year-old played another bogey-free round Saturday, and has just one bogey through the first 54 holes of this event. Perhaps the most telling sign of Quinneys domination has been his mastery of the par-3 17th, which is playing as the hardest hole this week. Quinney has birdied the hole all three days. Still, Quinney isnt sure if he will be looking at the leaderboards Sunday.
Im not sure what works for me - play my ball or checking to see how everyone else is doing. To be honest, this is all new to me. But it would be great to get that first win.
After mastering the front nine for a 7-under 29 Saturday, it looked like Scott, 27, not only would shatter the McCormick Ranch benchmark, but might also threaten the 58 Jason Bohn recorded at last seasons Bayer Championship in Sarnia, Ontario. In fact, Scott was 4-under through his first four holes, thanks in part to an eagle on the par-5 third.
I looked at my caddy when I was 6-under after seven holes, Hey, I might as well try and shoot 58, mused an elated Scott, who finished tied for 14th at the Texas Challenge two weeks ago. I got a good jump out of the gate today and it just kept going. This is unchartered territory for me, and I am thrilled to be where I am. Ill just go out there Sunday and have some fun.
Rutledge felt he didnt hit the ball as well as he did in the previous two days, but was pleased with the way he salvaged the round.
I wasnt firing on all cylinders, but I clawed my way back, said Rutledge, a six-time Canadian Tour champion. A good start tomorrow is the key. The kid (Quinney) has a commanding lead, but you never know what can happen. He is playing very good golf though.
Todd Demsey of Scottsdale, Ariz., who received a sponsors exemption into the event, took full advantage of the conditions with a 65 and now sits 8-under. The 29-year-old, who is exempted onto the Buy.Com Tour this year, is coming off a back injury that has limited his play.
That was my first low round since I started playing again, so I kind of forgot what it felt like, said Demsey. I cant wait to get back out there. Ill keep trying to make birdies until I run out of holes Sunday and see where I am at the end of the day.
Full-field scores from the Scottsdale Swing at McCormick Ranch