NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Second-round leader Sam Burns of Shreveport, Louisiana, improved his advantage to five strokes, notching a 7-under-par 65 in the third round to bring his tournament total to 17-under-par 199. Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California, carded a 5-under-par 67 to lead by seven heading into the final round of the Rolex Tournament of Champions at Richland Country Club.
During the third round, more than half the Boys Division carded scores under par and the 54-hole cut was finalized at even-par 216. Burns posted a 4-under-par 32 on the front nine, chalking up four birdies and an eagle on No. 7. Burns capitalized on the back nine using birdies on Nos. 15, 17 and 18. Patrick Martin of Birmingham, Alabama, Luis Gagne of Orlando, Florida, and Sean Crocker of Westlake Village, California, all broke the competitive course record (65) at 8-under-par 64.
This year’s Rolex Tournament of Champions marks Sam Burns’ 16th Invitational appearance and his best 2014 finish was third at the Thunderbird International Junior. Burns said he was not worried about the final-round pressure of a big tournament.
“I just want to come out here and have fun,” said Burns, a 17-year-old rising senior. “That’s what I’ve done all week. I told myself, don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself; it’s just a game in the end. I just want to come out here and have a good time with my friends.”
Yechun (Carl) Yuan of Lake Mary, Florida, and William Register of Burlington, North Carolina, are tied for second with tournament totals of 12-under-par 204. Nick Hardy of Northbrook, Illinois, stands alone at fourth with a tournament total of 11-under-par 205. Gagne, Kyle Sterbinsky of Yardley, Pennsylvania, Adam Wood of Zionsville, Indiana, and Doug Ghim of Arlington Heights, Illinois, are all tied for fifth with tournament totals of 10-under-par 206.
In the Girls Division, Lee started her round with an eagle on No. 1, holing out from a fairway bunker. She recorded back-to-back birdies on Nos. 5 and 6. Lee rolled in another birdie on No. 11 to finish her round at 5-under-par 67. Evelyn Arguelles of Oaxtepec, Mexico, also shot a 5-under-par 67, which was the low round of the day in the Girls Division.
Lee has 11 career top-10 finishes in AJGA Invitationals and is currently No. 1 in the Polo Golf Rankings. The rising junior hopes to experience her first Invitational win at the 2014 Rolex Tournament of Champions.
“I think it would be amazing,” Lee said. “I’ve come in runner-up so many times. I came in second in last year’s Rolex Tournament of Champions, The PING Invitational and the Thunderbird International Junior. I really want to win this tournament, and it would mean a lot to me.”
In second is Mariel Galdiano of Pearl City, Hawaii, with a tournament total of 2-under-par 214. Arguelles, Alice Jo of Shanghai, China, and Muni He of Rancho Santa Fe, California, and are tied for third with a tournament total of even-par 216.
Final-round tee-times will run from 7-8:50 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Richland Country Club. For more information about the Rolex Tournament of Champions, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 617-9917.
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