The young guns keep firing birdies, but they can’t make up much ground on Stewart Hagestad.
The 28-year-old Southern Californian maintained his wire-to-wire lead at the 20th annual Players Amateur on Saturday, carding a 4-under-par 68 on Berkeley Hall Club’s South Course to move to 21-under for the tournament. Hagestad holds a five-shot advantage over Duke’s Alex Smalley entering Sunday’s final round.
Smalley made the biggest move on Saturday with a bogey-free round of 8-under 64.
“That is really impressive, good for him,” Hagestad said after hearing about Smalley’s third-round score. “It is way, way harder today. Greens are firm, pins tucked. It was a little windy.”
Smalley started the third round with a birdie on the first hole and took advantage of both the par-5s on the front nine before closing with a 31 on the back, including three straight birdies to end the day.
“It certainly feels good, it is a nice way to finish,” Smalley said. “The game feels really good, it’s nice to see some circles on the scorecard.”
Ohio State’s Will Grimmer, Arizona’s David Laskin and Georgia Tech’s Tyler Strafaci are tied for third at 14-under.
None of the local players in the field made the cut for Sunday’s final round, nor did defending champion John Augenstein, who finished the week at 3-under.
The final round gets underway at 7 a.m. Sunday. Admission is free and the tournament is open to the public.
For scores, tee times and analytics visit www.playersam.com.