Hunter Mahan travels back to Dallas from Ontario to attend birth of child
Mahan was leading Canadian Open by two shots at halfway stage
Brandt Snedeker new leader with 18 holes to play
Both Snedeker and Dustin Johnson fire nine-under par rounds of 63 in third round
Halfway leader Hunter Mahan has pulled out of the Canadian Open after his wife went into labor.
The 31-year-old, who was leading the tournament by two shots after 36 holes, was on the practice ground when he received a telephone call informing him of the news.
“I received exciting news a short time ago that my wife Kandi has gone into labor with our first child,” Mahan said in a statement.
“Kandi and I are thrilled about the addition to the Mahan family and we look forward to returning to the RBC Canadian Open in the coming years.”
Opening rounds of 67 and 64 had taken Mahan to 13-under par and a two-shot lead over John Merrick at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario before he rushed back to Dallas.
But Merrick, who equaled the course record on Friday with a round of 62, couldn’t capitalize on Mahan’s unexpected exit and slipped down the field to 12th place with only a handful of holes left to play on Saturday.
Instead, it was Brandt Snedeker who seized the initiative firing a nine-under par round of 63.
The Nashville native is 14-under par, one shot ahead of Sweden’s David Lingmerth whose round of 65 included an eagle three at the last.
American’s Matt Kuchar and Jason Bohn are one shot further back on 12-under following rounds of 64 and 66 respectively while Dustin Johnson is in a four-way tie for fifth after shooting 63 earlier in the day.
Johnson, who played with Mahan in the first two rounds, is tied on 11-under par with compatriot’s Kyle Stanley and Charley Hoffman and England’s Greg Owen.
“I actually didn’t know that (his wife was due) until my caddy Bobby told me on 18. Hopefully everything goes all right,” Johnson said, PGATour.com reported.
“I know it’s one of those situations where you probably wouldn’t expect him to have to leave. But sometimes that’s just how it works. He’s playing really well right now, but yeah, I mean, things happen, and obviously I’m in a good position for going into tomorrow,” he added, PGATour.com reported.