Three-way tie for Canadian Q-school lead

Brandon Harkins, amateur Nate McCoy and Andrew Roque all share the lead at 3 under after Thursday’s third round at the Canadian Tour 2012 Qualifying School.

BEAUMONT, Calif. — Brandon Harkins, amateur Nate McCoy and Andrew Roque all share the lead at 3 under after Thursday’s third round at the Canadian Tour 2012 Qualifying School.

Harkins, a 2011 Canadian Tour member, managed to keep himself in the medallist conversation even after a third round of 2-over 74.

Harkins opened his round with a 2-under par 34 on the front side at Oak Valley, but a couple of loose swings on the back nine saw him post four bogeys on his back nine.

“I didn’t play great today but I’m not upset about it,” Harkins said. “Today was really about survival and I didn’t take myself out of it, so we’ll look to keep doing what were doing and get ready for tomorrow.”

Harkins heads to the final round at Soboba Springs on Friday with the confidence knowing he has posted the lowest round of the week on that course. Harkins shot a 4-under 68 on Wednesday which shot him up the leaderboard and into a tie for second after two rounds.

“I’ll have the exact same game plan at Soboba tomorrow as I had earlier in the week,” Harkins said. “I had success there hitting a lot of irons and hybrids and that won’t change even though we’re in contention to win.”

McCoy, a recent college graduate from the University of Iowa, shot his second straight round of 70 to move him into a share of the lead. The 21-year-old amateur has chosen to remain as an amateur until the completion of NCAA regionals which go later this month.

“I just graduated after a pretty good year and I wanted to make sure I could still compete one last time with my college team,” McCoy said. “Once the NCAA Championship is over it is my intention to turn professional and hopefully it will be on the Canadian Tour.

Roque shot a third round of 1-under 71 at Oak Valley, which moved him into a tie for the lead. Roque shot a tournament-best 66 at Oak Valley on Wednesday.

“I’ve had some good success on the Pepsi Tour down here in California and it’s really helped my confidence,” said Roque following his second straight sub par round.

“I’m pleased with the way I’ve played so far and I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing how everything unravels.”

Cory Renfrew of Victoria was the top Canadian following three rounds. The 26-year-old UBC graduate shot 2-under 70 Thursday and will play in the penultimate group at Soboba Springs on Friday. Renfrew sits two shots back of the leaders at 1 under for the tournament.

The top 30 players after four rounds will receive exempt status for the 2012 season.

The next 30 players and ties will receive non-exempt cards. The current cut line after two rounds is 6-over par for an exempt card and 11-over par for a non-exempt card.

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