VICTORIA, British Columbia—Things are still tight at the Royal Beach Victoria Open presented by Times Colonist. Even so, some separation is taking place at Uplands Golf Club as players battle for the first offering of Fortinet Cup points.

After three rounds, Americans Cooper Dossey and Scott Stevens have pulled away from the pack. They’re tied for the lead, at 13-under. The duo has a three-shot lead over a tightly contested field that includes five golfers at 10-under and 10 at 9-under

“It was a good day. I really got off to a good start ball-striking wise. I actually haven’t been hitting any fairways this week,” said Dossey, who shot a 6-under 64 Saturday. His day included seven birdies and a lone bogey, at No. 6.

Dossey was one shot better than Stevens, who had a 65, to garner a share of the lead despite a double bogey on the 18th hole. Stevens said.

“That brought me back to life a little bit. That was my first over-par hole in the last two rounds,” Stevens said. “So, I’m playing really solid (with) a good opportunity for [Sunday]. But, overall, a really good day.”

The former South Carolina Gamecock was 3-under on Upland Golf Club’s two par-5s, with an eagle at No. 7 and a birdie at the 12th.

Canada’s Chris Crisologo moved into a five-way tie for third-place with a third-round score of  64. An eagle on No. 7 set the pace for a move up 35 spots on the leaderboard.

“I got the putter rolling really well and gave myself a lot of opportunities to capitalize on,” Crisologo said.

American Travis Trace followed two rounds of 68 with a 65. At 9-under, he’s in the hunt as the tournament concludes Sunday, with 500 points going to the winner, giving the champion an early advantage in the Fortinet Cup, the season-long points chase that designates which players will advance to the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour. Fortinet is also offering a $100,000 pool of bonus money--$25,000 to the points champion—that it will distribute to the season’s best players. Trace, starting his third full season as a PGA TOUR Canada member, would love to be in the Fortinet Cup mix at the end of the season. He’s off to a solid start.  

“It was a pretty good day all around, (but it) could have been a little lower. I got some chances on the front. The putts weren’t dropping,” the former University of North Florida player said. “Then I heated up a little bit on the back and (had) some easy birdies.”

Nothing may be easy in the final round. Although Dossey and Stevens have pulled away from the pack, Trace is among a tight cluster of golfers within four strokes of the lead entering the last 18 holes. The closest challengers (trailing by three shots) are Wil Bateman, Crisologo, Eric Lilleboe, Joey Savoie and Davis Shore. Besides Trace, the group right behind those five includes Michael Blair, Justin Doeden, Joe Fryer, Jake Knapp, Cooper Musselman, James Nicholas, Nolan Ray, Isaiah Salinda and Jake Scott.

China’s Yi Cao, who opened the tournament with a pair of 65s to take the lead, wound up shooting a 72 on Saturday. He’s 8-under after 54 holes and tied for 18th, five back of the leaders.