PACIFIC COAST GOLF ASSOCIATION (University Place, Wash) – After docile round two conditions, morning rain and an increased wind presence allowed Chambers Bay to strike back at the 84-player Pacific Coast Amateur field during today’s third round.
Second round leader Cameron Champ of Sacramento, California, came backwards on the leaderboard with a two-over-par 73, posting a three-round total of -6 (69-65-73-207). As soon as the Californian made a mistake, it was as if the field caught wind of it through the rolling dunes of Chambers and began to sense a chink in his armour.
One of those competitors to make a serious move on the day was late entrant Hayden Springer of Trophy Club, Texas. The Texas Tech Red Raider junior, who joined the field last Thursday after being awarded one of the final Presidential Invitations, had a relatively uneventful front nine, sitting one-over on his day through eight holes. After making a birdie on the ninth hole to get back to even on his day, Springer would ramp up a streak of four birdies to start his back, making it five in a row. He would add two more on his inward half (29) and post a six-under-par 65 to sit in the lead alone.
Springer’s 54-hole tally shows 74-66-65 for -8 (205).
No strangers to final round pairings are Will Zalatoris of Plano, Texas and Doug Ghim of Arlington Heights, Illinois. Zalatoris, the defending champion, decided he isn’t ready to hand over the trophy to anybody without a fight. After posting rounds of 69 and 70 to start his championship, Zalatoris posted a four-under-par 67 to spring board into the final group with fellow Texan Springer. Zalatoris’ three-day line totalling 206 has him a shot back at -7.
Ghim, playing in the final group of the day with Champ and David Micheluzzi of Cranbourne, Australia, continued his steady play at Chambers Bay, posting a third-round 69 to sit in a tie with Zalatoris at -7 (70-67-69). Ghim ended a stream of 41 holes without a bogey on the 6th today, a streak that was bound to end at some point on the difficult Puget Sound layout but nonetheless, impressive.
Others to make a move and join the party near the top at -6 (207) were Denzel Ieremia of Hamilton, New Zealand (66-72-69) and John Oda of Honolulu, Hawaii (67-71-69).
Notable performances today also came from Ben Albin and Edwin Yi. Playing early in the morning, Albin of Santa Fe, New Mexico, made a double-eagle on the par-5 18th hole with an 8-iron. Not to be out done was Beaumont, California’s Yi, a junior at the University of Oregon. Carding a round of 73 was nothing to be extremely proud about, stated Yi but making his first ace on the par-3 15th was something that had him beaming with a smile after his round.
Final round action begins tomorrow at 7:30am with entrance being free of charge.
Live scoring and final groupings – click here.