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Fanning Readies For Final Round Shootout

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Canadian Tour-LargeOver the past few years, Eagle Creek Golf Course owner Andre Lacasse has helped pave the way for Todd Fannings professional career. On Saturday, Fanning took a huge step towards showing his ultimate appreciation on Lacasse's own track during the third round of the Canadian Tours Eagle Creek Classic.
 
The 33-year-old Winnipeg native carded a 7-under 65 and sits at 18-under through three rounds for a share of the lead with Mark Slawter (Raleigh, N.C.) heading into Sundays final round. Chris Greenwood (Valdese, N.C.) is two shots behind, while Craig Matthew (Ile Bizard, QC), Rich Massey (Harrington Park, N.J.) and Steve Scott (Wellington, Fla.) are tied for fourth at 15-under.
 
Now into the second of a three-year sponsorship deal with Lacasse, Fanning admitted that this event, the official Canadian Tour Tournament Players Championship, has been circled on his calendar all year.
 
When I looked at the schedule earlier this year, I thought to myself if there were two tournaments Id like to win, this one and the MTS Classic (in Winnipeg) would be them, said Fanning, who is in search of his first Tour victory after four second-place finishes.
 
Obviously, Andre has treated me like gold, and I fell in love with this course the first time I played it in 1998.
 
After a birdie and an eagle on his first two holes Saturday, Fanning rode the momentum to a 5-under-par 31 on the front nine en route to a final-pairing date with Slawter. Still, with the numbers his fellow Tour players have been putting up all week, the two-time Canadian junior champion isnt taking anything for granted.
 
When I tee it up tomorrow, there could be a course record in the house and the leader could be finished his round. Everyone is attacking this course because right now that is the way it is playing. They always say its tough to follow up a great roundthe way I see it, Ive had three very good rounds (67, 66, 65). I havent had that great round yet.
 
Slawter, who carried a two-shot edge over Massey into Saturday, agreed, adding his recovery from an even-par front nine to wind up 4-under on the day likely kept him in the hunt.
 
If I happened to shot 72 today, I was probably out of the tournament, he conceded. I would have been passed-thats just the way its been out here.
 
In the media center following his round Saturday, Slawter and Fanning shook hands in anticipation of their final-round pairing before Slawter jokingly remarked, And try to keep that noisy gallery down (Sunday).
 
Coming off a win in Thunder Bay last month and a ninth-place showing at the TELUS Open in Montreal a week ago, Matthew, 25, is back within striking distance of the leaders once again.
 
Going 68, 67, 66 (in the first three rounds)..I like the trend. Everyone is playing well right now, but I cant worry about what they are doing. I just have to focus on what it is I have to do.
 
The Canadian Tour all-time record winning score relative to par is 27-under, set by Brian Kontak (Tempe, Ariz.) during the 1998 Alberta Open at Wolf Creek Golf Club.
 
Full-field scores from the Eagle Creek Classic