Rhett Rasmussen takes the lead into the final round
By Art Stricklin for AmateurGolf.com
PITTSFORD, NY (June 9, 2017) --College golf stars Rhett Rasmussen and Tyler Strafaci took advantage of tougher conditions to separate themselves from the field after the third round of the prestigious 2017 Monroe Invitational at Monroe Golf Club.
Rasmussen, who just finished his first year at Brigham Young University and was named West Coast Conference player of the year, fired his third consecutive sub-70 score with a Friday afternoon 68. He took a one-shot lead at 203 over Georgia Tech golfer Strafaci who totaled a 70 under windy conditions for a 204 total.
Chase Johnson was third, three shots back at 206 with three players including second round leader Shintaro Ban at 207.
With tougher pins, fast greens and more wind, the third round scores were much higher than the first two days, but it led to the more talented and competitively experienced golfers rising to the top of the leaderboard.
Rasmussen come to the Monroe Invitational in fine form after a stellar freshman season for the BYU Cougars which included his first college tournament win and then he blitzed the field to win the local qualifying for U.S. Open at the Country Club of Salt Lake City.
He said playing some of the best golf of his young career recently has prepared him for top flight amateur tournaments like the Monroe.
It’s great to be able to play with some of the best players in the country,” Rasmussen said. “The wins give me confidence that I can compete.”
He needed plenty of confidence after an opening front nine of 35 left him at one-over for the day, but he rallied on the back nine at Monroe GC with birdies on 11 and 15 with no bogeys to place him in the lead for the first time this week.
Strafaci, who led after round one with a 65 after recently completing his freshman year at Georgia Tech, called the Friday round a grind, but said he gained experience by knowing how to play the classic design to avoid on-course disaster.
“The greens are really fast. This course is a lot of drivers, you have to hit a lot of drivers and some three woods, but around the greens you’ve got to keep the ball below the hole and have uphill putts. That’s the key.”
This is his second consecutive year to play at The Monroe and certainly his best chance to capture the top prize attempting to join a long list of top amateur players who have won first place including 2016 champion Sean Crocker of the University of Southern California.
The low round of the day belonged to LSU sophomore Nathan Jeansonne who fired a 67 which moved him into a tie for fourth with Ban and Chris Petefish from Georgia Tech.
ABOUT THE The Monroe Invitational
The Monroe Invitational is held at Monroe Golf Club
in Pittsford, NY, and is one of the oldest amateur
tournaments in the United States, dating back to its
first playing in 1937. The course is a Donald Ross
design that is a Golfweek Top 100 Classic Course.
The tournament is a 72 hole stroke play event with a
54 hole cut. Invitations are sent out to exempt
players in early February, but the Tournament
Committee would encourage any interested players
to apply for a non-exempt invitation through the
View Complete Tournament Information