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Mackenzie pushes lead to 2 shots at ATB Financial Classic

Brock Mackenzie leads the ATB Financial Classic by two shots heading into the final round.
Brock Mackenzie leads the ATB Financial Classic by two shots heading into the final round.
PGA Tour Canada

American Brock Mackenzie carded six birdies and a bogey to shoot a 5-under 67 yesterday at Sirocco Golf Club and build a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the ATB Financial Classic.

The 33-year-old’s 21-under tally through 54 holes is the lowest mark of the PGA Tour Canada era and tied for the second lowest in Tour history. Mackenzie has made just one bogey on the week, offset by 22 birdies to lead by two over fellow Americans Stephen Carney and Brady Schnell, who followed up a second round 59 with a 67.

Mackenzie owns one win on PGA Tour Canada, coming at the 2010 Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist, and says he’s relishing the opportunity to be in contention for a second win today in Calgary.

The University of Washington alumnus, who won twice on the All-American Gateway Tour in the offseason, was in the hunt earlier this year in Victoria before finishing T2. Currently 10th on the Order of Merit, he’ll have a great chance to solidify his spot in the race to earn Web.com Tour status at season’s end.

Mackenzie’s closest pursuers will be able to keep a close eye on the 54-hole leader, with round four tee times moved up to due anticipated inclement weather.

Players will tee off the first and tenth tees in threesomes, and Carney and Schnell will join Mackenzie in the final group. Mackenzie said he was pleased to be ahead of golf’s latest ‘Mr. 59’ given the historic accomplishment.

Two shots behind Schnell and Carney in solo fourth was Victoria, BC’s Cory Renfrew, who posted the round of the day with a 7-under 65 to sit at 17-under.

SCHNELL RE-FOCUSES ON PURSUIT AFTER MAGIC FINISH

After he holed out from 122 yards on Friday to shoot 59, Brady Schnell could be forgiven if he found it difficult to re-focus on the chase for the lead at the ATB Financial Classic on Saturday.

The buzz sparked by the accomplishment didn’t seem to distract Schnell, though, with the 29-year-old continuing his stellar play with five birdies on his first eight holes to reach 19-under, where he finished the day.

PGA Tour Canada