COLUMBUS, GA (June 17, 2016) -- Troy senior Jared Bettcher paces the field heading into the final round of the Southeastern Amateur. Bettcher sits at 5-under and will lead Virginia sophomore Ashton Poole who is 4-under and in second place at the Country Club of Columbus.
Through three rounds Bettcher has put together scores of 69-68-68. In the third round the two-time All-Sun Belt performer birdied six and bogeyed four. Bettcher didn't have much going Friday until he birdied holes 10-13 in succession.
Poole shot the round the tournament, a 6-under 64, to move within one-stroke of the lead after three days of play. Beginning the day 2-over Poole was even-par through five holes before birdieing 6 and 7 back-to-back to turn in 2-under 34.
However, the real fireworks came on the back nine. Poole birdied Nos. 9 and 10 and after a bogey on 11 he birdied 14, 16 and 18 to close in 4-under 30.
In all it was an eight birdie, two bogey day for Poole.
Andy Ogletree, Trace Crowe (Auburn) and Steven Fisk (Georgia Southern) are all 2-under and tied for third. Three other players are 1-under and share sixth place just four back of the lead.
36-hole co-leader Benjamin Shipp, the future North Carolina State golfer, is even-par after a 4-over 74 and is tied for ninth while Florida State's Jonathan Keppler fell all the way back into a tie for 33rd after a 10-over 80.
ROUND TWO RECAP
Benjamin Shipp and Jonathan Keppler are both 4-under and will carry a one-stroke lead into the third round of the Southeastern Amateur. Three players will begin the third round at the Country Club of Columbus in a tie for second with another nine players within three shots of the lead.
Incoming North Carolina State freshman Benjamin Shipp has posted back-to-back 68's so far. On Thursday Shipp, one of the top junior players in the country, birdied three holes and bogeyed just one. His birdies came in a flurry as he carded birds on holes 1, 3 and 4.
Florida State sophomore Jonathan Keppler followed up a first round 3-under 67 with a second round 1-under 69. Keppler opened with a birdie on No. 1 but bogeyed the 2nd and 3rd holes to fall to 1-over for the day. On No. 9 Keppler rolled in a birdie to get back to even-par for the round.
The homeward nine was a steady one for Keppler with one birdie and eight pars.
Jake Marriott (Augusta University), Cooper Musselman (Kentucky) and Jared Bettcher (Troy) are all 3-under and tied for second place.
First round leader Nathan Mallonee (Georgia State) fell back on the second day with a 4-over 74 and is currently 1-under and tied for eighth.
ROUND ONE RECAP
Nathan Mallonee opened the 87th Southeastern Amateur at the Country Club of Columbus with a 5-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead. Mallonee, a senior at Georgia State, leads Florida State teammates Jake Kevorkian and Jonathan Keppler who share second place at 3-under.
Mallonee began his round with a pair of pars before birdieing holes 3 and 4 to move to 2-under. His lone bogey on the front dropped him back a stroke but he regained it quickly with a 7th hole bird. After turning in 2-under 34 the 2015 All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention performer birdied four of the first seven holes on the back nine to reach 6-under. Mallonee did give a shot back with a bogey on the 18th but it didn't take away from his fantastic first round.
Kevorkian opened his tournament with five birdies and two bogeys while Keppler tallied one more birdie and one more bogey as they both shot 3-under 67's.
Five other players share fourth at 2-under while six others are 1-under and sharing ninth.
Two-time defending champion Grant Hirschman struggled on the first day shooting a 2-over 72 and is tied for 33rd.