Canadian Mid-Am: Four-way tie for lead heading to final round

OAKVILLE, Ontario (Sept. 8, 2011) -- Brent Wilson of Victoria, B.C., Rob Couture of Dallas, Tex., Drew Symons of Woodstock, Ont., and Nick Ushijima of Hillsborough, Calif., each hold a share of the lead at 2-under par 214 through 54 holes of play at the 2011 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Coppinwood Golf Club in Goodwood, Ont.

While Wilson, Symons and Ushijima carded identical third-round scores of 1-under-par 71, Couture, a co-leader heading into Thursday, carded a round of 2-over par 74 that included three birdies, two double bogeys, and a critical bogey on the par-4 18th hole that denied the two-time Texas Golf Association Statewide Player of the Year the outright lead heading into Friday’s finale.

“The golf course was gettable like it was the first couple of days,” said Couture. “There wasn’t a ton of wind and the weather was fine. I just didn’t play as well. I wasn’t as sharp as I was the first couple of days.”

Couture’s focus — with an exemption into the 2012 RBC Canadian Open at the historic Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Hamilton, Ont., on the line on Friday— remains squarely on playing sound golf, and not on his opposition.

“I haven’t even looked at it,” said Couture, referencing the leaderboard. “I don’t ever really look. I just want to come out and play golf because I can’t control what happens around me. If I play a good eighteen holes, I can live with it no matter what happens.”

Former Team Canada member, Graham Hill of Sarnia, Ont., rounds out the top-5 in the Mid-Amateur division at 1-under par 215 after posting a third-round score of 4-under par 68.

Three-time defending Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur champion, Dave Bunker of Woodbridge, Ont., is T40 after carding a third-round score of 2-over par 74 to sit at 11-over par 227 for the championship.

Ushijima, meanwhile, holds a commanding six-stroke lead in the Mid-Master division over David Steingart of Edina, Minn., and Rob Cowan of Waterloo, Ont., both of whom sit T2 at 4-over par 220.

“It’s still just the third day of the tournament, so I’m trying not to shoot myself in the foot,” said Ushijima, a former standout golfer at the University of the Pacific and winner of the Japan Mid-Amateur Championship in 2007.

Ron Pearson of Kitchener, Ont., is fourth at 5-over par 221, while Larry Cooper of Oakville, Ont., and Mark Knecht of Paducah, Kent., are T5 at 6-over par 222.

The 2011 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship resumes tomorrow, Friday, September 9, 2011, with final-round play beginning at 8:00 a.m. (EST). Starting times, post-round results, full field list and live scoring are available here.

The Mid-Amateur division was open to male amateur golfers who had reached their 25th birthday by the first scheduled day of the championship, September 6, 2011, while the Mid-Master division was open to male amateur golfers who had reached their 40th birthday by the same day.

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