Lethbridge, Alberta— Sometimes, out of nowhere, you just figure it out.
For Alex Chiarella, who missed the first three Mackenzie Tour cuts this season with his low round a 71, this week was the week he figured things out.
Don’t be mistaken, the rounds of 64, 67 and Saturday’s 65 at Paradise Canyon Golf Resort is far from a surprise given the Makawao, Hawaii native’s track record, which includes three top-30 finishes on the Mackenzie Tour in just four events in 2018. What is surprising is the timing, fresh off a second-round 76 at the second round of the GolfBC Championship.
“It’s golf,” shrugged the 25-year old. “My game actually hasn’t felt that bad, I just haven’t been able to put anything together and putts haven’t been falling. I was missing my lines by just a little bit and hitting loose tee shots, but I cleaned it up this week and it feels good.”
Beginning the week with eight birdies and just a single bogey in his first round, Chiarella followed it up with a 67 that featured just a single bogey. The highlight, though, may have been Saturday’s back nine, which included an eagle on hole No. 13 and three birdies in-a-row to finish.
“I butchered No 10 and made bogey but calmed down after eagle on hole No. 13,” said Chiarella, who had just 130-yards into the green after bombing a drive downwind. “That was big, and then it was nice to have such a good finish.
“I felt pretty confident out there,” said the University of San Diego alum. “I’m still staying really patient and that’s a big thing for me, I can’t get too far ahead of myself or look in the past, I’m trying to stay in the moment and move forward.”
Arriving at the course on Sunday, Chiarella’s pre-week plan remained unchanged; practicing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, prepping to peg it Thursday after some encouraging words from his family.
“There was also a lot of self-talking,” said Chiarella. “(Having the lead) feels great, I’m going to have the same game plan as I did the last three days and hopefully it’s good enough to win.”
Trailing Chiarella by two are Travis Trace, who fired a third-round 70, and Justin Doeden, who backed up a 62 with a 68.
Bouncing back from a double bogey on hole No. 15, Jared du Toit made birdie on his final two holes of the day to finish at 11-under par. Six-strokes off the lead, du Toit is currently the low Canadian and is attempting to pick up his first Canada Life Canadian Player of the Week Award of the season.
With a storm system expected in the area Sunday evening, players are grouped in threesomes for the final round off holes No. 1 and 10, with the opening time set for 8 A.M. and the leaders set to tee off at 9:39 A.M.