CHARLESTON, SC (July 16, 2016) -- Christian Sease says he has played thousands of rounds at the Country Club of Charleston. His family has held membership there since he was 5-years-old. On Saturday, in the third round of the 102nd Carolinas Amateur Championship, Sease posted his best round ever, a 7-under-par 63. He came within a lipped-out putt on 18 of tying the course record set by Cordes Ford, IV and Hudson Swafford on the Seth Raynor design.
Sease's round was highlighted by a hole-in-one on the 185-yard par-3 11th. Using a 5 iron, Sease used the left to right curve of the reverse redan to roll the ball into the hole for his third career ace.
"I kept it just one shot at a time, one hole at a time," said the 22-year-old from Mount Pleasant, S.C of chasing the course record. "I tried not to get too far ahead of myself."
After an hour weather delay, Sease kickstarted his day by holing a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-3 6th. He followed that with a birdie on No. 7 and an eagle on the par-5 9th. Birdies on holes 12 and 14 catapulted Sease to eight-under, which would have tied the course record on the par-70 layout used for the championship. After a series of pars, Sease faced a 50-foot birdie putt on 18 to set the course record with 61. Unfortunately, he would leave that putt 10 feet short and lip-out the par save for 62. Having started the third round at one-under-par overall, Sease's 63 helped him climb into the lead with a three-day total of 202 (-8).
Second round leader Austin Zoller of Summerville, S.C. shot his second three-under 67 in as many days to finish Saturday one back of Sease. The two know each other well, as recent teammates on Winthrop University's golf team. "I told Christian to play well this morning so we could be paired tomorrow," said the 20-year-old Zoller.
Starting his round with a two shot lead, Zoller was just one-under through 13 holes and found himself trailing Sease. Zoller drove the green on the par-4 14th, which was moved up to 299 yards and two-putted for birdie. He then birdied the par-5 15th and holed his bunker shot for a birdie on the par-3 17th. "I told my caddie this one has potential to go in," Zoller said of the pitch in birdie. Like Sease, he would also three-putt the18th to finish 54 holes at 203 (-7).
Playing a few groups ahead of Sease and Zoller was 2012 Carolinas Amateur champion Cameron Young of Pendleton, S.C. The 21-year-old's third round 64 was diminished by Sease's 63, but it was impressive in that Young made nine birdies Saturday. Young has improved three shots each day of the championship, "The first day I played terrible, yesterday was decent, and today was great." His three day total of 204 (-6) puts him into the final pairing and tied for third with Julian Keur of Simpsonville, S.C. Zoller's father is Keur's swing coach.
The final round is scheduled to begin at 8:00am on Saturday from the #1 and #10 tees.
Three-time defending champion Carter Jenkins of Raleigh, N.C., has since turned professional, playing on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada.
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