Canadian Open: Hughes tied for 2nd ahead of final round

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre shot a 4-under 66 in Saturday’s third round of the RBC Canadian Open to add to his lead.

MacIntyre started the day tied with New Zealand’s Ryan Fox two shots ahead of the pack.

But Fox had an even-par 70 to drop back into second at 10 under as MacIntyre surged to a 14-under total.

Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., just eight kilometres from Hamilton Golf and Country Club, shot a 3-under 67 to sit in a tie with Fox and American Ben Griffin.

If Hughes can catch MacIntyre in the final round it will be the first time in 110 years that Canadians have won the men’s national golf championship in back-to-back years.

Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C., ended a 69-year drought at the home open at Toronto’s Oakdale Golf and Country Club in 2023.

Robert MacIntyre of Scotland watches his tee shot on the 4th hole in the second round of the Canadian Open in Hamilton, May 31, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Two-time Canadian Open champion Rory McIlroy remained an obvious fan favourite on Saturday. Roars could be heard every time he made a birdie putt as he fired a 5-under round to bounce back from a disappointing 2-over struggle on Friday. That lifted him into a four-way tie for 11th at 7-under overall.

“I feel like an honorary Canadian at this point and the support I get here is amazing,” said McIlroy, who won his first Canadian Open on the same course in 2019. “I keep saying it, but just a pleasure to play in an atmosphere like that. 

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“The crowds are so good, they’re so supportive, so enthusiastic, looking forward to one more day of it.”

Corey Conners (67) of Listowel, Ont., was in that group with McIlroy. Taylor Pendrith (66) of Richmond Hill, Ont., was a shot back in a five-way tie for 15th. 

Hughes, Conners, and Pendrith were all on Kent State University’s men’s golf team together.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2024

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