Canadian Primed for Victory


MYRTLE BEACH, SC -- Rob McMillan of Winnipeg pulled away from a crowded leaderboard Saturday and will carry the lead into the final round of the Canadian Tours $150,000 Barefoot Classic.
The two-time Canadian Tour winner carded a 6-under 66 for a 54-hole total of 11-under 205 at Barefoot Resorts Greg Norman course and leads rookie David Hearn of Brantford, ON and Monday qualifier Paul Scaletta (Glen Allen, Va.) by three shots. Sean Dougherty (Wilmington, NC) and Will Mackenzie (Greenville, NC) are at 6-under 210.
McMillan, 26, first tasted victory on the Canadian Tour back in 1996 when, as an amateur, he shocked the field and captured the Xerox Manitoba Open. He then added another title to his resume when he won the 2000 TELUS Vancouver Open.
On Sunday, McMillan, who also won the 1996 Canadian Amateur Championship, will go for his initial triumph on U.S. soil. Craig Matthew of Ile Bizard, QC was the last Canadian to win a Tour event, accomplishing the feat at the Ontario Open Heritage Classic last July.
Im feeling pretty good. If you had told me Wednesday that I would have a three-shot lead going into the final round, Id have taken it, said McMillan, who hit 14 of 18 greens Saturday. But Ive drawn up a game plan how I want to play this course, and I am going to stick with it.
Tied with Hearn at 9-under after making the turn, McMillan gave himself a little breathing room with a birdie on the par-4 12th moments after Hearn, playing in the group ahead, bogeyed the hole. McMillan finished the day with six birdies and no bogeys.
To tell you the truth, I had no idea how anyone else was doing. Im not much of a leaderboard watcher. I believe if you take care of yourself and concentrate on what it is you have to do, things will fall into place.
Hearn, 22, is making quite a name for himself in his first season. This is the third time this year he has been in contention going into the weekend. His best result this year has been a 22nd-place showing in Austin, Texas. Hearn will be paired with McMillan Sunday, something the 2001 Canadian Four Nations Cup Team member is looking forward to.
Im really looking forward to playing with Rob Sunday, he said. Ive looked up to him through my entire junior career, and we should have a lot of fun. I am very pleased with the way Ive been playing, and hopefully I can continue.
The 26-year-old Scaletta has been the dark horse of the tournament. Six days after qualifying for the event, Scaletta finds himself in the final group with McMillan and Hearn Sunday, just three shots out of the lead.
It is a thrill to be in this position, said the former Virginia Amateur runner-up. I just wanted to get here and play my game. Ill come out tomorrow, try to hit some good golf shots and see where it takes me.
Full Coverage from the Barefoot Classic