SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The threesome of Kevin Roy, Taylor Montgomery and David Kocher the leader group going off on one. 

One group ahead of them featured Kevin Yu, after nearly chipping in for birdie on 2, he’d sink the birdie putt. That moved him to 15-under and one off the lead. Not much other traction as he’d finish a few shots back.

Alongside Yu is Robby Shelton. He drains the Eagle putt to close his round-low 8-under day. He’s at 20-under. 

Austin Eckroat found his groove sinking 6 birdies on they day to get to 17-under for the tournament. He’s tied for fifth.  

“I played really good overall, Eckroat said. “The putter was really good today. I had a couple of long par-saves. Other than that the ball striking was good, drove it great, really the whole game was sharp today.”

But two of the three in the final group were trading shots. 

On one, Kocher chipping for eagle but it’s just a few inches short of dropping, he’d tap in for birdie to get to 16-under. 

“It’s big momentum,” Kocher said. “Especially when the other two guys I played with made par. It made me realize that pars aren’t good out here, you need to make birdies to stay ahead.”

Roy would get it right back as he curls in the lengthy birdie putt on number 3, that puts him one shot back at 15-under. 

He’d move to 17-under to take the lead and then again on 8, it’s Roy chipping for eagle and it somehow doesn’t drop he’d clean it up for a birdie and takes a 2-stroke lead at 18-under.

The two traded darts on number 9, Roy trying to get his birdie to fall but it races past. That opens the door for Kocher and he enters the side door for the bird. That puts him one shot back at 17-under. 

After a birdie on 10, Kocher completes the trifecta with another on 11, that gets him to  18 under and a tie of the lead with Roy. 

“The momentum in our group was definitely positive today,” Kocher said. “A lot of made putts midway through the round to keep the momentum going”

Closing on 18, Kocher made up some ground. The birdie to close puts him at 22-under and two shots ahead. As the 18-hole, 36-hole and now 54-hole leader will try to close it out on Sunday. 

“This is kind of new territory for me, playing with the lead, but I did it pretty well today and hopefully I can do it again tomorrow,” Kocher said.

And shoutout Poplar Bluff’s Carr Vernon, in on a sponsors exemption and he’s in at 9-under par with a 3-under day today.

And much like it was today, tomorrow will be an earlier start. The leaders expected to go off on one at a little before 10:15 and someone will hold up the trophy and that big check tomorrow afternoon around 3.