Shintaro Ban celebrates after a birdie on No. 2
Tribune Democrat photo by Thomas Slusser
by Yianni Gogonas, AmateurGolf.com
JOHNSTOWN, Penn. (June 16, 2017) -- Friday's thunderstorms in Johnstown, Pennsylvania made for another interesting afternoon at the Sunnehanna Amateur. Play was suspended intermittently at 4:15 PM ET. With players already having their tee times delayed by an hour and forty minutes, the additional stoppage meant that many players, including our leaders would have to play well into the evening hours.
At the end of another long day in Pennsylvania, Shintaro Ban had carded a 54-hole score of 12-under-par to take a 1-shot lead over Zachary Bauchou into the final round.
Ban and Zach Bauchou - the overnight leaders -- began their rounds at 3PM, playing with defending champion, Colin Morikawa, who came into Friday's round tied for second place with Dawson Armstong.
In the five holes he was able to play before lightning and hail began to fill the sky, Ban managed to roll in a couple of birdies, moving to 11-under-par, two ahead of Bauchou. An hour later, when tournament officials it deemed safe to return to the golf course, play resumed.
By the time the final grouping finished the 12th hole, Ban had extended his lead to five strokes. But that big cushion wouldn't last long.
Ban carded his first bogey of the day on No. 17, following it up with another bogey on 18 for a 54-hole score of 12-under-par and the outright lead.
As Shintaro Ban slipped on his final holes, his playing partner were doing what they could to keep themselves in close reach of the championship. Zach Bauchou made birdies on 17 and 18 to finish at 11-under-par, with Morikawa matching him with one of his own on the 18th.
Morikawa will enter Sunday's round in a tie for third place at ten-under-par with Nick Voke of Wattledown, Zew Zeland.
Voke shot 65 in the opening round of the championship, following with an even-par 70 on Wednesday afternoon. After a full day of rest, Voke returned to Sunnehanna on Friday ready to make a big move.
"Got off to quite a hot start," said the New Zealander. "Then we had the one hour delay, so I wasn't sure how it was going to play out on the last 12 holes."
Voke's 65 was tied for the lowest round of the day.
"Its a really good sign when the 15 to 20-foot range really start to burn edges with good speed, that's when I know I am dialed in on the greens."
"I'm in a position tomorrow where I can put a bit of early heat on 'Shin' [Shintaro Ban] We'll see what happens."
Voke is scheduled to tee off with Ban and Bauchou at 9:20 AM ET Saturday morning.
ABOUT THE Sunnehanna Amateur
The Sunnehanna Amateur was inaugurated in
1954 -- it was the first country club
sponsored 72-hole stroke play competition for
in the United States. The
tournament is played on a classic A.W.
design. Only one other amateur
tournament in the United States can list the
Chick Evans, Arnold Palmer, Julius
Boros, Art Wall, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson,
Woods, and Rickie Fowler as
contestants: the United States Amateur. Its
format has been emulated by
countless amateur tournaments across the
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