When Riley Fleming entered the scoring area after putting the finishing touches on his course record tying 63 Thursday afternoon at Parcours du Vieux Village in Bromont, Que., it looked as if his 15 under would be the number for competitors to chase.
An hour later, the course record was broken by Sang Hwa Lee, who managed a bogey-free 61 during the second round of the BetRegal PGA Championship of Canada to take a one-stroke lead at the midway point of the event.
Lee, who teaches out of the Markham Golf Dome in Markham, Ont., caught fire late in the round, finishing with birdies on each of his last five holes, and six of his last seven.
“Honestly, everything was going well today,” said Lee, who began his week with a 67 on Tuesday. “A few tee shots were crucial and I didn’t get too aggressive. I had a lot of downhill putts that I just wanted to lag down there and two-putt, but I got fortunate, and a few went in.”
Thursday’s 61 is Lee’s lowest career tournament round by three shots and couldn’t have come at a better time, as eight PGA of Canada professionals find themselves at 10 under or better.
“I didn’t really know how low I was until around 16,” said Lee. “I was a little nervous, but I managed to make a couple more birdies coming in. I’m going to have the same approach (Friday), just keep enjoying it. Having some time off work, you can’t complain.”
Fleming, who won the Alberta Open by six strokes last month, will play alongside Lee in the final group on Friday as he attempts to win the P.D. Ross trophy for the first time.
“I was hitting it really well today. I found my swing on the range and have been putting really well all year, and that kept going,” said the Lynx Ridge Golf Club pro. “I missed a couple putts on the front, but made a nice one for eagle on my ninth and just played really solid on the back.
“You have to keep the pedal down, especially with five reachable par fives. It’s a race to a really low number this week, so we’ll see where it actually ends up,” said Fleming.
Meanwhile, Danny King managed his second consecutive 68 to take a one-stroke lead over Jim Rutledge at the Seniors’ Championship of Canada, which consists of players 50 years of age and older and will conclude on Friday.
Though Rutledge will compete for his seventh Seniors’ Championship title, he claimed the 36-hole Super Senior division trophy (60-years and older) by two strokes over Ian Doig with a score of seven under.
Heading into the final round of the Seniors’ Championship, there are six players within four strokes of the lead.
The leaderboards are here.