CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (Dec. 21, 2011) -- Curtis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., remained the picture of consistency Wednesday, shooting a third-straight 69 for a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the Dixie Amateur over three other Florida players: Daniel Berger of Jupiter (71-71-66), Motin Yeung of Orlando (68-71-69), and Wesley Graham of Port Orange (69-70-69).
Derek Ernst of Clovis, Calif., was one of four golfers who trailed Thompson by a shot after two rounds, but he dropped back into a tie for seventh, four shots back, after shooting even-par 72 at the 7,034-yard Heron Bay Golf Club.
He is one of 10 golfers who are within five shots of the lead heading into Thursday’s final round Thompson, the 19-year-old LSU freshman, is the brother of Lexi Thompson, who last week became the youngest winner on the women’s European Tour. Lexi, who claimed the same distinction on the LPGA tour in August, has been walking with her brother as he seeks to win his first Dixie Amateur.
More than two dozen of the top 500 amateurs in the world, according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking, were in the 240-man field competing in the 81st edition of the historic tournament. Of the leaders, Thompson is ranked 263rd in the world while Ernst is 11th and Yeung is 202nd. Ben Taylor of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who is ranked 113th by WAGR, is tied for fifth, three shots back of Thompson. Scott Harvey, ranked 43rd by WAGR, is tied with Ernst. Competitors from 19 countries and 32 U.S. states were registered for the championship, ranked 12th in the world by scratchplayers.org and designated one of amateur golf’s “majors” by amateurgolf.com.