Kramer Hickok shot a 2-under par score of 68 in the third round and takes a one-shot lead over Stephan Jaeger into Sunday’s final round. The 26-year-old is seeking his first Web.com Tour win and is looking to become the first wire-to-wire winner of the season. LEADERBOARD >
Saturday’s DAP Championship game story below, after some local notes…
INDIANS FANS DAY A SUCCESS AT CANTERBURY
The DAP Championship management designated Saturday as Indians Fans Day and allowed anyone wearing any kind of Tribe gear to get in the gates for free. (There was a Slider sighting at Canterbury, too.)
The idea was a home run (ha!), with more than one thousand fans at Canterbury on Saturday instead of the light attendance of the last two years. Lots of families with kids, too, which was great to see.
The same concept applies to Sunday’s final round, but instead it’s Browns Fans Day. Anyone wearing brown and orange gets in to Canterbury for free. So put on your Browns gear tomorrow morning and come on out for the final round of the final DAP Championship. The first tee time Sunday is at 7:30a, and the leaders go off at 12:50p with play finishing by 5p. FINAL ROUND STARTING TIMES >
LOWER POSTS EVEN PAR SATURDAY ROUND
Justin Lower of Fulton posted an even par 70 in Saturday’s third round at Canterbury, and moved up four places in the standings to T47th with one round remaining.
Lower tees off on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. from the first tee, and needs a quality finish to earn some Web.com Finals playoff money. The top 25 in money at the end of the four playoff events earn their PGA TOUR cards for next season. Lower missed the cut at the first playoffs event in Columbus.
YEP, CAMERON CHAMP HITS IT A REALLY LONG WAY
Cameron Champ leads the Driving Distance category on the Web.com Tour this year, with an AVERAGE poke of 342.6 yards. That’s 9 yards in front of the second longest player on the Web.com Tour, and a whopping 22 yards past the PGA TOUR’s longest average driver for 2018, Rory McIlroy.
So a good number of fans wanted to see Champ bust a few drives at Canterbury, playing in the second-to-last group on Saturday. While there aren’t too many driver holes on the dog-leg old-school layout, he did get the chance to send a few tee shots into the stratosphere.
On the par-4 sixth (which plays as a par-5 for the members), Champ’s drive carried the fairway bunkers on that hole by at least 40 yards on the fly.
Then on the par-5 ninth, Champ busted one to the top of the hill — where no one ever reaches as it’s a good bit uphill and on Saturday was into the wind — and had a mid-iron left in, from which he made birdie.
But the best driving hole at Canterbury was a bust for Champ. Stepping up to the iconic par-5 16th hole with more than a couple hundred spectators watching on, Champ swung a bit harder than normal and pull hooked his drive, landing it in the left woods and rough.
Unfortunately, Champ finished the day with a score of 3-over par 73 and fell back 21 places, to T25.
Kramer Hickok grabs 54-hole lead at DAP Championship presented by NewBrick
By Preston Smith, PGATOUR.COM
Kramer Hickok shot a 2-under 68 in the third round and takes a one-shot lead over Stephan Jaeger into Sunday’s final round. The 26-year-old is seeking his first Web.com Tour win and is looking to become the first wire-to-wire winner of the season.
After being tied for the lead with Jaeger for the majority of the back nine, Hickok took the outright lead on the par-3 17th, where he made a 20-foot birdie putt to move to 12-under. The Austin, Texas native combined three birdies with a lone bogey in his third round and ranks second in driving accuracy, hitting 35 of 42 fairways through 54 holes.
“I really didn’t get myself too far out of position,” said the University of Texas alum. “I had one bogey today and it was just one bad drive, but the rest of the day, it was just easy pars. Just a consistent day all around. I didn’t get myself in trouble and I wasn’t too stressed.”
Hickok earned the Order of Merit title on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada in 2017, where he secured two wins and three runner-up finishes. His successful season allowed him to gain fully exempt status on the Web.com Tour this season.
“I’m always drawing back on those past memories and winning out there,” Hickok said. “Just trying to remember making those clutch putts and I certainly did that today. There were a few putts that I needed to make to keep the momentum going and I think tomorrow, it’ll just be one of those rounds where I’m looking back on all the positive things that I’ve done in my career.”
Hickok is the only player inside the top 10 on the leaderboard to have already secured his card through the Regular Season. He is looking to improve his Priority Rankings through these four Finals events.
“I feel like if I was in their shoes, I would have a little more pressure,” Hickok commented about the players looking to earn their cards via The Finals 25. “I feel like there would be more weight on my shoulders in order to play well. Being in my shoes, I have everything locked up and ready to go. I can’t move backwards, so all I can do is go out and play good golf.”
Hickok is looking to become the 20th first-time winner on the Web.com Tour this season.
“I really want to get a win,” Hickok said. “I’ve had a second and a third this year and I’ve been in the lead going in the back nine and finished a little short. I would love to get a win.”
Heading into the final round one stroke back, Jaeger’s 2-under 68 was highlighted by four consecutive birdies on Nos. 9-12. Despite only hitting 21 of 42 fairways this week, the German relied on his putter and averaged 28 putts per round in his first three rounds at the difficult Canterbury Golf Club.
“I didn’t get off to a great start honestly, but I just hung in there,” said Jaeger. “I had good putts on Nos. 7 and 8 and finally made one on No. 9 that kind of got me going a little bit.”
Jaeger is looking to move up the Finals Money List after a missed cut in the first Finals event with rounds of 72-75. A top-four finish this week will secure his TOUR card for the 2018-19 season, but Jaeger is setting his sights on a different goal.
“I’m going to try to win the tournament,” said the 29-year-old. “If I’m going to try to win the tournament, that’s going to be my best chance to get into the top four. I’m not going to think to myself ‘I’m two back, but I’m two clear of top four.’ I’m not wired that way.”
Jaeger earned his fourth Web.com Tour victory earlier this year at the Knoxville Open, where he overcame a two-shot deficit to win by three strokes. He became just the third person on Tour to capture a title in three-consecutive years.
In his PGA TOUR rookie season, Jaeger recorded three top-25 finishes and carded his best result at the Quicken Loans Nation with a T13. After finishing No. 165 in the FedExCup rankings, the 29-year-old came back to the Web.com Tour Finals in hopes of retaining his TOUR card for the 2018-19 season.
* The 54-hole leader/co-leader has converted that lead into victory eight of 24 times on the Web.com Tour this season, including in each of the past three weeks. The 54-hole leader/co-leader has won in each of the first two years at the DAP Championship presented by NewBrick.
* Six-time PGA TOUR champion Hunter Mahan carded a 5-under 65 to jump into contention at T4. The 36-year-old sits four shots back of the lead entering the final round.
* University of Southern California alum Rico Hoey shot the round of the day with a 6-under 64. The round moved him from T51 to T10 after 54 holes.
* Through 54 holes of play, there are two international players inside the top three on the leaderboard. Thus far in 2018, the Web.com Tour has had winners from nine different countries claim titles in the first 24 events: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Germany, Mexico, South Korea and the United States.
* A playoff has decided each of the first two years of the DAP Championship presented by NewBrick. DeChambeau won a four-way playoff with a par on the second hole in 2016, while Lindheim knocked in a 35-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to top a three-hole playoff.
* The field includes 69 Web.com Tour winners and 26 PGA TOUR champions, including a Major champion. Eight players are currently ranked inside the top 200 of the Official World Golf Ranking.
* While it is difficult to estimate exactly how much money is needed to finish in the top 25 of the Finals money list and collect one of the remaining 25 PGA TOUR cards handed out at the conclusion of the Web.com Tour Championship, below is how much money the 25th man on the money list earned in the past:
2013 Bobby Gates $33,650.00
2014 Eric Axley $36,311.66
2015 Rob Oppenheim $32,206.00
2016 Tim Wilkinson $27,425.00#
2017 Seamus Power $40,625.00
# – denotes three events played (Web.com Tour Championship was cancelled)
* This week’s purse is $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion.
* This week marks the second week of the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-event series that concludes at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Florida, Sept. 20-23. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded on August 19 following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.
* NEXT WEEK: The Web.com Tour takes a week off before traveling to Boise, Idaho for the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, the third event of the Web.com Tour Finals. The season will conclude the following week in Atlantic Beach, Florida for the Web.com Tour Championship.