SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– JONATHAN RANDOLPH AND CONRAD SHINDLER TEED OFF THE THIRD ROUND TIED FOR FIRST AT 14 UNDER, ONE STROKE UP ON THE FIELD.
You can’t blame Conrad Shindler if he had a case of deja vu.
Two years ago he was in this exact same position.
Teeing off the third round tied for the lead.
But at 29 years old he cracked under the pressure and finished tied for 16th.
ON THE FIRST HOLE IT WAS RANDOLPH WHO ROLLED IN A BIRDIE PUTT TO TAKE SOLE POSSESSION OF FIRST PLACE AT 15 UNDER.
ONE GROUP AHEAD, GRANT HIRSCHMAN AND STEVE WHEATCROFT KEPT PACE.
ON EIGHT, WHEATCROFT’S BIRDIE PUTT PUT HIM AT 14 UNDER.
BOTH WERE ONE OFF THE LEAD.
RANDOLPH MADE A MOVE AT THE TURN.
THE OLE MISS GRAD SPENT THE LAST TWO YEARS ON THE REGULAR TOUR.
HE ROLLS IN THIS EAGLE ON NUMBER EIGHT TO JUMP TO 19 UNDER, FOUR UP ON THE FIELD
“It’s still not enough to win the golf tournament,” Randolph said. “So I knew I had to make more birdies. It feels good to execute shots. That’s why you play all year to execute shots. As boring as that sounds.”
SHINDLER MADE BACK TO BACK BIRDIES ON EIGHT AND NINE, BUT THE WHEELS FELL OFF ON 11.
HE GOT LOST IN THE TREES FOR A DOUBLE BOGEY.
THEN ON 12 HE FLEW THE GREEN FOR A TRIPLE BOGEY AND LOST FIVE STROKES ON TWO HOLES.
HE FINISHED WHERE HE STARTED AT 14 UNDER.
“It was a calamity of unfortunate breaks,” Shindler said. “That’s what it is you know that the course is get-able though and you have to regroup.”
SATURDAY’S MOVING DAY, AND KANSAS CITY NATIVE HARRY HIGGS SHOT A SEVEN UNDER PAR 65 AND FINISHED ONE STROKE OFF THE LEAD AT 17 UNDER.
Yea, I didn’t move backwards,” Higgs said. “You move one way or the other. I was very fortunate to move forward. No doubt and give myself a chance to win.”
HIRSCHMAN CAUGHT FIRE LATE, STRINGING TOGETHER FIVE BIRDIES ON THE BACK SIDE.
THEN ON 18 HE JUST MISSED THIS EAGLE PUTT, HIS BIRDIE GAVE HIM SOLE POSSESSION OF FIRST AT 18 UNDER.
“I always just want to try to have a chance,” Hirschman said. “And I really haven’t had a chance this whole season. For going into a final round. That’s all you can ask for is a good chance.”
RANDOLPH STUMBLED HOME, BOGEYS ON 12 AND 16, THEN HE SAVED PAR ON 18.
HE’LL TEE OFF THE FINAL ROUND IN A SECOND PLACE TIE AT 17 UNDER.
“I had a couple of putts on 16 and 17 that absolutely zigged when I needed them to zag,” Randolph said. “Two shots are big at the end of the week. It stinks when it’s back to back holes because if feels like the world is caving in on you.”
WHOEVER SURVIVES SUNDAY WILL TAKE HOME A 126-THOUSAND DOLLAR FIRST PLACE CHECK AND ONE BIG STEP CLOSER TO THE REGULAR P-G-A TOUR.