MADISON, LA (June 9, 2012) -- When the third round of the 2012 Mississippi State Amateur got underway Saturday morning, 34 players were within 8 shots of day two leaders Grant Goforth and Nic Ishee. As day three came to a close, no player was closer than four strokes of round three leader Clay Homan, who powered through the rainy weather to fire an 8-under 64.
With a 9 a.m. tee time, Homan began his round in the heart of the morning drizzles. By the 5th hole, Homan was 2-under after back-to-back birdies on the 3rd and 4th holes, noticeably shrugging off the rain and taking his chance on each hole to score low. Through nine holes, Homan was 4-under, and just getting into high gear. He continued his round three dominance with three straight birides on the back nine. As the rain began to come down more heavily, Homan made his approach into the 18th green with players and spectators watching and waiting to see how he would do in the soaking rain. With raindrops pouring from the bill of his hat, Homan eyed his birdie putt, and calmly stroked it into the center of the cup for his eighth birdie of the day. The 8-under round cushioned his lead atop the leaderboard. Totalling eight birdies and 10 pars, Homan finished his third round bogey free, bringing his three day score total to 208. The total put Homan four strokes ahead of second place Grant Goforth, who shot a third-round 2-under 70 to bring his three-day total to 212.
Although Homan's 8-under round stole the show on Saturday, seven other players finished the day under par. 2010 State Amateur Champion Fletcher Johnson shot a 3-under 69 for the round to bring his three round total to 220. Goforth and Grant Motter fired scores of 2-under 70, bringing their three day totals to 212 and 218, respectively. Eddie Brescher III, Brad Riles, Paul Loyacono and Ross Bell each shot 1-under 71 for the day, keeping them all within fifteen shots of first place.
As play began, players were buzzing about the possiblity of softer, more receptive greens as a result of early morning drizzles. By days end, the tournament-high eight scores under par seemed to prove the theory true. Players return to the course at Reunion Sunday morning for round four of the tournament in hopes that they can score low and take home the 2012 Spec Wilson trophy.