Honolulu’s Tadd Fujikawa fired a 6-under-par 66 yesterday to give himself a six-shot advantage going into today’s final round of the eGolf Tour Championship.
Fujikawa is 21 under after three rounds at Spring Creek Golf Course in Gordonsville, Va. He made the turn in 5-under 31 yesterday with five birdies … and was bummed.
"I played pretty darn good on the front nine," Fujikawa said on the tour’s website. "I literally could have birdied more holes, but lipped out on six and seven."
He was more disappointed on the back. He missed a 4-foot birdie try at 12 to set the putting tone. His only birdie came on the par-5 18th.
"I was giving myself chances, but I just didn’t make anything on the back nine," Fujikawa said. "All in all, it was a good day, though."
Derek Fathauer, a former PGA Tour player from Florida, is second at 64–201. Matt Hendrix, another former tour player, is third at 71–203.
Fujikawa, 19, said he could draw on his experience winning the Mid-Pacific Open in 2008 and ’09, and his two top-35 showings at the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in Hawaii, where his small (5-foot-1) stature and large game attracted big crowds and ratings.
He also remembers his eGolf experience in March, when he took a two-shot advantage into the final round of the Golf in Morocco Classic and shot 82, falling into a tie for 25th. Fujikawa, who turned pro at 16, has never won outside Hawaii.
"I’ll draw a little bit from each experience," Fujikawa said. "Just knowing that I have a six-shot lead, I’ll still need to go really low. The guys out here can really play, so no lead is safe."
Hendrix, who played with Fujikawa yesterday, called him "the best player I’ve ever played with. Every putt goes in and every shot goes dead straight."
Golfers in the top 20 on the money list after today’s final round will have their PGA Tour Q-School entry paid for by eGolf—a $4,500 value. Fujikawa is currently 16th with $38,348.