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Savoie, Travale join Springer atop leaderboard at CentrePort Canada Rail Park Manitoba Open

Joey Savoie Joey Savoie - PGA Tour Canada

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Canadians Joey Savoie and Johnny Travale both shot 67s on Saturday at Southwood Golf & Country Club and surged into a three-way tie with 36-hole leader Hayden Springer at 15-under going into the final round of the CentrePort Canada Rail Park Manitoba Open.

“It’s kind of an even race starting tomorrow,” said Springer, who began the third round with a three-shot lead. “There are going to be a ton of birdies. Somebody is going to go super-low and hopefully it can be me.”

Springer, of Trophy Club, Texas, struggled at one-over through the first ten holes, but reeled off three-consecutive birdies to shoot a 70.

“I had to battle a little bit today and didn’t drive it all that well,” Springer said. “I was kind of out of position a little bit and was able to hang in there and get a few on the back nine. I’ll take it.”

Despite a 45-minute fog delay to start the day, players were able to take advantage of the improved weather conditions, as warmer temperatures returned and the gusty wind abated.

“If you would have told me this on Thursday morning that this would be the case going into the last round, I’d be pretty happy with that,” said Travale.

Travale, of Hamilton, Ontario, and Savoie, of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, both had six birdies and one bogey on their cards.

Travale said, “The key was just staying confident. I’ve been hitting it really well this week, putting it really well. I knew the wind would be down, so I kind of just let it come to me and I made some good birdies on the front to get me rolling. Yesterday I was like holding onto the handlebars pretty aggressively.”

Savoie said, “I think the key was not getting ahead of myself. I think mentally I was trying to take it one shot all the time and I think I stuck to my process. And I really committed to my shot very well today. I think the key was more mental than technical.”

Sam Choi shot a 9-under 63 and moved into solo fourth place at 14-under. Tied for fifth at 13-under were Canadian Etienne Papineau, who shot 67, and China’s Charles Wang, who shot 66. First-round leader Devon Bling shot 68 and stands alone in seventh place at 12-under.

Choi, who won the Windsor Championship two weeks ago, had to overcome a bout of food poisoning that kept him up much of the night. The Malibu, California, resident still managed to shoot the low round of the day, and moved up 21 spots.

After a bogey on the third hole, Choi went birdie-eagle to set his round in motion. The eagle was set up by a 5-iron approach and a 35-foot putt. He added seven more birdies, including six on the back nine, where he shot 30. He even saved par at No. 10 after his drive found the deep fescue rough. 

“Everything just clicked,” he said. “Every putt was just straight uphill. I was like, ‘Man, this is going in again.’”

Wang is making the most of his second chance. After missing the Monday qualifier by a stroke, Wang got in the field as an alternate. He continued to play his way into the top-10 on Saturday by shooting 6-under. Wang is in line for his first top-10 of the season.

Wang said, “I couldn’t be more blessed to be able to play. It worked out well for me this week and I’ve played pretty well. So far, it’s going my way.”

Closing out the top 10 in a tie for eighth place at 11-under, Canadian Chris Crisologo posted a 65 to join Derek Oland and Brian Carlson of the United States.

With 17 players within six shots of the lead, the final round could evolve into a real shootout.

“I think depending on how you play at the beginning of the round, it can become match play on the back nine or a three-way battle,” Savoie added. “You just have to live in the moment and sometimes you might play more aggressively at the end because it’s just you and another guy. There’s plenty of golf left to play. There’s plenty of guys in the battle.”