THE big stage wobbled Southwood's Bret Thompson a little on Wednesday but the good news is the Simon Fraser University student is still in the thick of the Canadian Men's Amateur Championship.
Thompson, 20, had a share of the lead at 8-under-par midway through Wednesday's third round at Elmhurst but slipped on the back nine, posting a 2-over 72 to stand four shots back of leader Corey Conners.
Thompson is 4-under 208 through three rounds and tied for sixth.
'I had been playing well on the front, made some birdies and left some out there, then kind of got into a little funk on the back nine, couldn't really commit to any shots and got rattled a bit'
After a front nine of 2-under 33, he ran into trouble with bogeys at Nos. 12, 13, 15, then a double at 16 before a birdie at 17.
"I kind of let it go with the back (nine)," Thompson said after the round. "I had been playing well on the front, made some birdies and left some out there, then kind of got into a little funk on the back nine, couldn't really commit to any shots and got rattled a bit.
"But it happens."
The biggest mess was a double-bogey six at the course's toughest hole, No. 16, a par-4 with a hard dogleg right.
"It's just a tough hole, with that wind especially," he said. "You want to try to get aggressive and get it down as far as you can. So you pull that club but you know that a (miss) either way it's dead.
"So you've got to hit a good shot. Unfortunately I didn't hit a good shot."
Complicating matters at 16 was another tough flag position, front and right.
"Some of the flags out here were pretty rough," said Thompson, who heads for his college junior year this fall. "It is set up tough. They've made you pick your spots where you want to go at it. Nothing is given to you out there."
Thompson said while he and others would like to make up ground in today's final round, patience remains a must.
"You just go out and have the same mode I had on the front nine (Wednesday), just make birdies and stay patient... Stay patient and if it happens, it happens. Just try to play well and try to eliminate the bad swings."