Despite a stiff breeze blowing in off the Atlantic, the 24-year old Otsego, MN native calmly fired a 1-under-par 71 to grab sole possession of the top spot heading into Friday's final qualifying stage at the Barefoot Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC. Christensen holds a two-stroke lead over Gene Jones of Orlando, FL, the leader entering play Thursday before shooting 6-over on the first eight holes to lose his grasp on top spot.
With the starting field of 173 narrowed down to 62 after Thursday's round, a pair of Canadians survived the cut and will wear the Maple Leaf flag Friday on the 7,047 yard, par-72 Davis Love III course in the hopes of qualifying for the 2001 Canadian Tour. Stuart Anderson of Strathmore, AB, sits in a tie for sixth spot, just six strokes back of the lead, while Montreal's Craig Matthew carded a 72 for a three-day total of 216.
Christensen admitted afterwards that while the wind caused havoc for most of the field all day, he just went about his game and tried not to let Mother Nature interfere.
'I've done things well these past few days, and I knew I just had to relax and not get myself into any trouble,' he said, adding there is still some unfinished business to take care of Friday. 'Finishing in the top 20 at Q-school was my goal. But it is a four-round tournament, and we've only played three.'
A minimum of 20 exempt status and ten conditional cards will be given out after Friday's round. The Canadian Tour then has its first four events of the 2001 season at the Barefoot Resort.