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Southern Cal Senior: Merhar in lead

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. (June 30, 2008)--Frank Merhar of La Jolla fired a 1-under-par 70 today at Industry Hills Golf Club’s Zaharias Course and has a one-shot lead over Robert Carver of Fullerton and Clark Heath of Coto de Caza heading into tomorrow’s final round of the 31st Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) Senior Amateur Championship.

The 66-year-old Merhar, who won this event in 1998, posted four birdies and three bogies today and is the only player to be under par over the challenging, 6,531-yard Zaharias Course. Should he hold on tomorrow, Merhar’s 10-year span between victories would be the longest in tournament history.

Carver, a three-time and the defending SCGA Super Senior Amateur champion, had four birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey 7 on the 18th hole (his ninth today) to finish at even par. At age 72, Carver, who lost in a playoff to Rich Tolly last year, could become the oldest winner if he can rally tomorrow. Earlier this year, he teamed with Brian Edick to finish runner-up in the SCGA Foursomes Championship at Rancho San Marcos GC.

The 56-year-old Heath played the steadiest golf all day, posting just one birdie and one bogey en route to his even-par round of 71.

Chip Bridges of Encinitas posted a 1-over-par 72 today and sits in fourth place, a shot ahead of seven golfers who shot 73, including Tolly, who will try to become the fourth golfer in 31 years to win back-to-back titles.

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