Local golfer Greg Ward shot an even-par 72 on Thursday to survive the cut and play in today’s final round at the Canadian Club Champions Championship in Calgary.
The 23-year-old defending Kitchen Creek club champ was tied for 42nd place going into action Friday with a 14-over 230 total (79-79-72).
Aggregate scores will determine the final placings.
“I just felt a little more relaxed,” Ward said from his hotel Thursday night on how he bounced back from his shaky start earlier in the week. “The first few days, I had put myself under the bus.”
He added yesterday’s tense atmosphere—which saw 47 of the 120 club champions from across Canada cut—was something he had to block out.
“Considering it was the cut day, I think a lot of people close to the cutline would go high today,” he noted. “I just thought with my experiences, I could play better.”
Ward credited a strong early start yesterday in which he sat at two-under after five holes—the complete opposite of his three-over par on the same stretch Tuesday.
“That got me a bit of a cushion I needed and played a little more relaxed from there,” he said, adding he’s getting used to the tricks and tendencies of the Springbanks Links course.
“Basically, I had a better idea of where I was supposed to hit and when not to miss it.”
Ward qualified for the cut in more comfortable fashion at last year’s event in Nova Scotia, where he finished 25th overall.
Among this year’s leaders, defending champ Craig Doell of Victoria, B.C. stormed back with a pair of 69s in the second and third rounds to sit tied with Matt Makinson of Coquitlam, B.C. at 10-under 216.
Early leader Dan Soley of Red Deer, Alta. is in third place overall, five shots back.
Thunder Bay Country Club champ Rob DeGagne, the only other Northwestern Ontario golfer to join Ward at the tourney, shot 79 yesterday to finish with a 240—missing the cut by four strokes.