Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Red-hot Chilean ready to stomp on gas

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HUGO LEON knows a thing or two about patience. A hip injury in 2011 sidelined him for six months and only now is he feeling like his golf game is falling back into place.

"Six months for me is an eternity. I felt rusty, I felt uncomfortable and it took me a long time just to get comfortable and feel that I could swing the way I wanted to," Leon said. "And in the process I got a little lost and a little uncomfortable. It's been a long pathway and I'm feeling good so I'm really enjoying that. I'm so happy that every day when I get to the course I start to get a little better and a little better, and that's so encouraging for me."

Leon shot a third-round best score of five-under 67at The Players Cup to climb from ninth to fourth place at 12 under. The Chilean is aiming for his best result on the PGA Tour Canada season. His best result was a tie for 11th at the Dakota Dunes Open.

Leon started his round at Pine Ridge hot, dropping five birdies on the front nine along with a birdie and a bogey on the back. The strong effort has earned him a spot in the second-last pairing for today's final round and a better chance to claim the $27,000 first prize.

"When I get things going I don't have any problem pressing on the gas," he said. "Obviously, it's been a little while since I've felt as good as I'm feeling right now and that's kind of a build-up process."

Leon, 28, isn't too focused on winning, he's just happy to see his game improve with each and every round. The rest will come naturally.

"I just want to play good. That's what I always want to do. I don't really care about what place I finish, I don't care about any of that stuff," Leon said. "I just want to play good golf and I know if I do that I'll have a shot. I'm thrilled to be playing good golf again, it's been a really long time since I've been feeling the way I feel right now."

So far at The Players Cup Leon has improved with each round, shooting 69, 68 and 67, respectively.

kyle.jahns@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 21, 2013 B2

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