Zhengkai "Bobby" Bai leads the Palmetto Amateur
AIKEN, South Carolina (August 4, 2017) -- Zhengkai Bai shot 1-under-par 69 to take a six-shot lead entering Saturday's final round of the Palmetto Amateur.
USC Aiken’s Johnson Holliday shot 73 and is 5-under. Holliday opened his bid at the title with a 7-under 63 but he has failed to match that magic round posted on Wednesday.
Bai, a sophomore at University of Central Florida, played steadily late in the day to outlast Holliday through a round that saw multiple lead changes.
Bai bogeyed four consecutive holes on the front nine and Holliday aced No. 7 for a two-stroke lead, but Holliday carded two double bogeys down the stretch while Bai birdied Nos. 10, 13, 14 and 18 for the sizable lead.
Amazingly, Bai, who is poised for victory, was a Monday qualifier for the Palmetto event.
The two will be joined by Ryan Wenzler for the final grouping today at 9:50 a.m. Wenzler shot 68 and is tied with Jordan Batchelor for third at 3-under.
Zhengkai Bai, an incoming sophomore at UCF, has taken the halfway lead at the Palmetto Amateur at Palmetto Golf Club.
Bai, of Lake Mary, Florida, trailed Johnson Holliday, Jr. of Aynor, SC by three after Holliday lit things up in round one with a 7-under 63 at the par-70 layout.
After a slow start with a bogey on No. 2, he made 7 birdies against no bogeys on the ensuing 17 holes to post 64 and stand at 10-under on the tournament. That's a five shot swing against Holliday, Jr. who shot 69 today and stands in solo second at 8-under. As they say, it's always tough to follow up a really low round and Holliday, after getting as high as 1-over on the day through 11 holes, did a nice job bringing it back with two birdies coming home.
Holliday plays for University of South Carolina Aiken and is no doubt very familiar with Palmetto Golf Club. He had a top-20 finish in the 3M Augusta Invitational this year, finishing 7 shots behind Bai, who came in tied with Will Zalatoris for second, just a shot behind winner Dylan Meyer. The two will be battling again tomorrow in the final group.
In third place is Alex Green of Fairhope, Alabama. Green went deep into the red on the back nine, recording 5 birdies in shooting 5-under 31. His tournament rounds have been 67-66=133, right in the mix.
After Friday's third round a cut will be made, with the 72-hole championship concluding on Saturday.
ABOUT THE Palmetto Amateur
72-hole stroke play event held on a classic
MacKenzie design. The field of 84 is
applicants based on handicap, participation
amateur golf events and competitive
previous Palmetto Amateurs and other
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