GREENSBORO, N.C. — After a course record-tying 64, second round leader Victor Wiggins of Gastonia, N.C. started his third round at 12-under-par. He finished the day at the same score, mixing a birdie with a bogey, and dropping into a tie for third.
While the leader was unable to separate himself from the field, others made their move up the leaderboard. Three players shot 7-under 65: Henry Shimp of Charlotte, N.C., Alex Smalley of Wake Forest, N.C., and Davis Womble of High Point, N.C. A rising senior at Wake Forest University, Womble's round was highlighted by a hole-in-one using 7 iron on the 177 yard 14th.
Beginning the day at 7-under, Shimp's 7-under third round propels him into the lead at 14-under 202. In May, Shimp played with Nolan Mills IV in the inaugural U.S. Four-Ball. A few days later he won the N.C. High School 4A Western golf regional. A 17-year-old rising senior at Myers Park, he has committed to play college golf at Stanford University. Looking ahead to the final round, his plan is pretty simple. "I'm going to try to keep on driving the ball well and put myself in good position," said Shimp. "I think that's important out here."
Smalley's 65 moved him into a tie for 9th place. "I hit a lot of good approach shots early and gave myself good looks for birdie and happened to make a few early putts to start," said Smalley, an 18-year-old incoming freshman at Duke University. "Seeing the ball go in early on helped me to keep the momentum I had going into my back nine."
17-year-old Doc Redman of Raleigh, N.C. remains alone in second place after a two-under-par 70 on Saturday. A rising high school senior, Redman has committed to play college golf at Clemson University.
Despite only missing four greens in his second round, UNC Chapel Hill rising junior Carter Jenkins of Raleigh, N.C. was even-par through 14 holes. Showing his two-time Carolinas Amateur champion form, he then birdied three of his final four holes to join Sunday's final pairing. "I wasn't hitting anything close until I rattled the flag on 15," said 19-year-old Jenkins. "Those birdies give me good momentum going into tomorrow's round." He is tied for third with Wiggins at 12-under 204.
While the leaders are young of age, they are not short of championship experience. Shimp is the reigning Carolinas Junior Boys' champion. Redman won the same championship in 2013. Jenkins is a 6-time CGA champion. Smalley won the 2014 North Carolina Junior Boys' Championship. In 2010, Womble was the Carolinas Junior Boys' champion. While Wiggins has not won a CGA title, he was runner-up in 2010 to Womble.
Carolinas golf history could be on Sunday. If Shimp holds on to win the Carolinas Amateur, he will become the first player to hold both the Carolinas Junior and Amateur titles at the same time. If two-time defending champion Carter Jenkins wins, he would join F.M. Laxton (1921-'23) of Charlotte, N.C. as the only golfers to win the Carolinas Amateur title three consecutive years.
Eight players are within four shots of the lead. The final round is scheduled to begin at 8:00am on Sunday from the #1 and #10 tees. The leaders will tee off at 9:40 from #1. Spectators are encouraged to come watch the exciting finish.
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