Heffernan and Barnett tied for the lead at the ATB Financial Classic

Sep 23, 2021

 

CALGARY, Alberta—With the wind blowing at Country Hills Golf Club, the third round of the ATB Financial Classic was much more of a challenge Saturday, with Wes Heffernan and Will Barnett tied for the lead at 10-under par, two shots ahead of Samuel Anderson.

“Pretty much our entire round, [the wind] was there,” said Heffernan of the wind that howled more than 40 kilometers per hour in the afternoon. “Obviously, compared to [Friday] when it was pretty calm, it’s a completely different golf course, so you’re hitting different shots and you’re out of your comfort zone right away.”

The Calgary native battled his way to a 1-over round of 72, with five birdies, despite three-putting four times.

“I drove it fantastic today,” said Heffernan. “The ball-striking was pretty good other than the two tee shots coming in on the last two holes. Those four three-putts were the difference between a 72 and a 68, and a pretty good score.”

Australia’s Barnett, who makes his home in British Columbia, collected two birdies in his round and an eagle from the bunker on No. 13.

“I’m super happy with the way I played today,” said Barnett. “I grinded pretty hard and hit it pretty solid. On Nos. 16 and 17, I narrowly missed some short birdie putts, which could have gone in. But I’m 10-under and tied for the lead, so I’m extremely happy with where I’m at going into the last round.”

Anderson will join Heffernan and Barnett in the last grouping Sunday after shooting a 1-under round of 70. The American kickstarted his day with an eagle on No. 2 before adding three more birdies.

“It’s always great when you can put yourself in contention heading into the final round,” said Anderson. “It’s going to be fun [Sunday]. I’ll just try to get after it and stay in position, and just keep doing the things I’ve done the last three days.”

Calgary native Jared du Toit sits alone in third, at 7-under, while Caledonia, Ontario’s Craig Stefureak holds down fifth place, at 6-under.

Key Information

  • The second round was completed Saturday morning after officials suspended play Friday night due to darkness. Sixty-four players made the cut, which was set at 2-over.
  • Twelve players shot rounds in the 60s Saturday. Fie players—Yi Cao, Dan Erickson, Blair Bursey, Kade Johnson and Kevin Stinson—shot 3-under 68s, the low score of the day.
  • Victoria’s Jeevan Sihota is the top amateur. He shot a 1-under round of 70 and is tied for sixth, at 5-under. Current points leader, amateur Noah Steele of Kingston, Ontario, shot a 2-over round of 73. It broke a streak of nine consecutive rounds in the 60s by the amateur.
  • Four additional amateurs made the cut along with Steele and Jeevan Sihota. Brendan MacDougall is tied for 26th, at 2-under. Jamie Welder is at 1-over, tied for 37th, while Brandon Markiw (tied for 43rd), Chris White (63rd) and Kyle Mossfeldt (64th) also made it to the weekend.
  • Playing on a sponsor’s exemption, Calgary’s Katy Rutherford finished her second round Saturday morning. Despite missing the cut with a total of 8-over, she shot an even par round of 71, including four birdies.
  • Will Barnett and Samuel Anderson are the only two players to shoot three consecutive rounds under par.
  • Cao Yi is making his 2021 Mackenzie Tour debut at the ATB Financial Classic. A year ago, Yi, a native of China and long-time Canada resident, finished No. 1 on the points list for the summer series of four events run by the Mackenzie Tour. Cao overcame a slow start, shooting a 75 in the opening round. He finished 66-68 over his last 36 holes and is tied for ninth, six shots off the pace, with 18 holes remaining.
  • Blair Bursey had the top improvement from the second round to the third. After a 3-over 74, he fired a 68 Saturday. He is tied for 20th entering the final round.
  • Of the top-six players on the leaderboard, Andrew Harrison and Sudarshan Yellamaraju, are the highest-ranked players on the Points List. Harrison is 11th, while Yellamaraju is 12th.
  • The top-five players on the final Points List will earn 2022 PGA TOUR Canada membership. First place on the Points List will receive fully exempt status for the 2022 PGA TOUR Canada season, while those in the second-through-fifth positions will earn exempt status up until the first reshuffle based on player performance.

Quotable

“It was one of those days where you just try to survive and post some sort of score. I’m not super happy with 72 just because of those four three-putts, but at the same time, I’m still tied for the lead.” –Wes Heffernan

“Play for your pars and if you hit one close, try to take advantage. The wind was so strong today, it was affecting the putting, so it was tough to make some putts.” –Will Barnett on his third-round strategy

 “The crowd was nice, but it was very clear that there was a strong following for the other two guys. Me being from Australia and living in B.C. now, and B.C. and Alberta having a little bit of a rivalry, that’s something to take into account.” –Will Barnett on playing with Calgary’s Wes Heffernan and Riley Fleming of Airdrie, Alberta

 “I don’t know if I hit a full shot, or a stock shot all day. I felt everything was a flighted or a punched shot, or really just trying to maneuver the wind in some way, shape or form.” –Samuel Anderson

  Third-Round Weather:

Windy and partly. High of 22. Wind W at 32 kph. Gusts in the afternoon reached 46 kph.

 

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