Holding a one-shot edge on Erik Compton as the day began, Gibson carded a 4-under 68 at Barton Creeks Fazio Canyons course to give him a three-day total of 6-under 208. Compton, who was the Canadian Tours money leader in 2004, is three back.
South African Alan McLean, who now calls Thunder Bay, Ont. home, is in third spot with American Wes Short at 2-over 216 after a 70 Monday. Three others are nine shots off the pace.
Jim Rutledge of Victoria, BC, the Canadian Tour career earnings leader, is tied for eighth at plus-4.
For the early part of Mondays round, it looked as though Gibson would crack under the pressure of trying to hold his lead on Compton. Had that occurred, no one would have faulted Gibson seeing that Compton managed a pair of wins and four other top-four finishes in just seven tournaments a year ago en route to the earnings title. Those impressive numbers didnt seem to faze Gibson at all Monday.
A double-bogey by Gibson on the par-3 third hole allowed Compton to take a one-shot lead, but after that it was Gibsons show. Sitting at 2 over for the day after ten holes, Gibson lit it up the rest of the way, reeling off three straight birdies and an eagle to put himself back in the drivers seat. He then lipped out from five feet on number 17 before both he and Compton converted birdie putts on the final hole.
It felt good to get it going on the back side, said Gibson, who began his run on the inbound nine with a forty-foot birdie putt on number 11. Erik is a solid player, but you teach yourself to play the course and not your opponent. If he was going to shoot 60 today, it would have been good for him; I was still going to play my game.
And so now, just 18 holes and 7,161 yards of real estate stand between the 30-year-old and his first Canadian Tour championship. A season removed from shoulder surgery that led to him having to play this season on a medical exemption, Gibson knows this is now his golf tournament to lose. But just as Padraig Harrington roared back from seven shots down to win the PGA Tours Honda Classic Sunday afternoon, Gibson isnt comfortable making plans to spend the winners cheque until he sees his name on top of the leaderboard after he putts out on the 18th green Tuesday.
Im not going to change a thing. It will be the same approach as Ive had all week. Stay positive and count them up after 18 holes. Obviously, whatever Ive been doing so far seems to be working.