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2012 champ back in chase with super 65

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SINCE his 2012 playoff victory at Pine Ridge in the Players Cup, fortune has not smiled too often at Chris Killmer.

The personable University of Washington grad struggled mightily in Canada last year, coming up with only a tie for 41st in his Players Cup defence.

Even more disappointing was his 84th overall position on the tour's final money list and with the new emphasis on, "What have you done for me lately?" failed to keep a fully exempt card for this year.

His low status on PGA Tour Canada this year hasn't gotten him into any tournaments until Players Cup executive director Ryan Hart granted him a sponsor's exemption last week.

And he has rewarded that choice by getting into contention Saturday with the best round of the day, a six-under 65. He sits five back of three-day leader Timothy Madigan.

"It was great," Killmer said of his early round that beat the afternoon storm and some of the wind. "Ryan Hart gave me an exemption to get my first start of the year and it's been kind of a frustrating year in that respect. To get out here and see all my friends and to play with the guys has been great.

"Especially to come back to Winnipeg with so many great memories here with the staff, the course. I think it's something I really used to ease a lot of the pressure I felt like I was putting on myself with this being my first event of the year."

-- -- --

Everybody's got a "yabutt" story at a golf tournament.

Stephen Gangluff, the tour's money champion of 2006, has a valid one this week.

If only he hadn't made a quadruple-bogey and a two doubles on Saturday, what would his round of 72 have looked like? Or his week, considering he's only five off the lead heading for today's final round.

Gangluff recorded a nine on the par-5 fourth on Saturday, then later added his doubles at the par-3 ninth and par-5 15th.

-- -- --

Defending Manitoba Junior champ Travis Fredborg of Selkirk had the air go out of his game on Saturday, sagging to a 79 after making the Players Cup cut with a pair of 72s.

"I didn't play my best today," Fredborg said. "I was just still a little jacked up after making the cut. Now that I think about it, (today) isn't that big a deal. I made the cut, a lot of guys are wishing they were in my position right now."

Fredborg will be defending his junior title starting Monday, and said he's brimming with confidence, even for next week's Manitoba Amateur.

"I'll have a lot of confidence, knowing I can play with these guys," he said. "I'll definitely feel I can win that Manitoba Amateur, for sure."

-- -- --

Two-time former Manitoba Amateur champ Jordan Krantz of Vermilion Bay, Ont., just can't seem to buy a putt this week.

He had just three bogeys and no birdies in his round of 74 on Saturday. He has just four birdies and one eagle on his week so far, now well back of the leaders at four-over-par starting today.

"I'm putting fine," Krantz said after his round. "The ball just hasn't gone in for the most part.

"It's been the last couple of weeks I just haven't find the bottom of the cup. I feel like I've been doing a lot of good stuff out there. I just haven't quite scored yet. That's not usual for me, not to make putts."

Krantz, who won one of the three PGA Tour Canada Q-schools this spring, said he will be playing most of the rest of this year's events, trying to improving his standing on the money list.

He's also in possession of a card on the OneAsia Tour this season.

-- Tim Campbell

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 13, 2014 B13

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