Justin Tereshko (Carolinas GA photo)
By Art Stricklin
COLUMBUS, OH (July 12, 2018) – Justin Tereshko
has a new wife, hopes to have a new job soon, and is now only 18 holes away from being the first Mid-Amateur to win the Trans-Mississippi Championship in 10 years, after his third sub-70 round opened a two-shot lead going to the final round.
Tereshko from Lexington, Kentucky fired a third round 68 Thursday, the only player in the field with three rounds in the 60s, for a 13-under-par 203 total in sunny, warm conditions at historic Brookside Golf & Country Club.
“I got off to a hot start today birdieing three of the first four holes and had a couple of tap in birdies and that always helps your confidence,” Tereshko said in an interview after his round.
“I was a little sloppy in at the end of the front nine, but then hit it to a foot on the 10th hole which helped get me going.”
After his birdie on the 10th hole, he followed up with birdies on the 12th and 15th holes which proved to be enough for the two-shot lead headed to championship Friday.
, the grandson of 1971 Masters Champion Charles and an incoming freshman at the University of Texas, along with Hayden Springer
, a senior at TCU in Fort Worth, are two shots behind at 205 after rounds of 67 and 68 respectively. Second round co-leader Jake Marriott
, from Naples, Florida, is a further shot back at 206 after a third-round 71.
Coody, who had six birdies outset by two bogeys Thursday, has another secret weapon in his golfing arsenal as he hopes to add to his summer of amateur golf success.
In both his victories at the AJGA Thunderbird Classic in Arizona this summer and the Texas Golf Association’s Byron Nelson Junior Championship, he wore the same final round outfit. With one round to go, he pressing on the "third time is a charm" game plan.
“I guess I’ll just wear the same outfit for every closing round.” Coody said.
Marriott is tied with Duke University senior Alex Smalley
, the highest ranked amateur coming into this week’s tournament.
“I didn’t have my best stuff today, but I’m happy with the way I battled and stayed in the tournament," said Marriott, who despite being in fourth place, three back of the leader, isn’t ready to concede the Trans-Miss title yet. “I’m looking forward to being in the hunt tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.”
Springer had one of the low rounds of the day on the old school, classic golf design, recording five birdies, including a birdie three on the closing par 4 18th hole, with no bogeys in his round.
Tereshko was asked for a game plan for Friday’s final round.
“I think if I went bogey free, that would be good for me,” he said. “I don’t like to think possible score, but If I go bogey free, I like my odds of making a couple of birdies.”
This is his first tournament after marrying his longtime girlfriend and leaving his college coaching job at Guilford College in North Carolina to return to her home of Kentucky, hoping to find another coaching job in the near future.
He’s planning a Bahamas honeymoon in a couple of weeks with his new wife. Will he show up in a new country as a prestigious Trans-Miss Champion or just another top amateur golfer?
The Trans-Miss is the oldest non-USGA amateur tournament in the country, with the 115th edition playing this week.
Iowa’s Mike McCoy
was the last mid-amateur to win the Trans-Miss in 2008 in Des Moines, Iowa when the event was dominated for a span by mid-amateur golfers. Tereshko hopes to win another one for the mid-ams on Friday.
ABOUT THE Trans-Miss Championship
The Trans-Miss is one of the oldest and
most storied golf tournaments in the United
For 106 years the championship
was played in a match play format.
Past champions include Jack Nicklaus (1958
and 1959), Charles Coe (1947, 1949, 1952 and
1956), Deane Beman (1960), George Archer
(1963), Ben Crenshaw (1972), Gary Koch
(1973), Bob Tway (1978), Mark Brooks (1978)
and other professional tour notables. In
1987 the championship was changed to a mid-
amateur age requirement, and a senior division
was also added. Starting in 2010, the Trans-
Mississippi Championship, returned to its roots
open amateur tournament, and immediately
established itself as a "must-play" among
top collegiate and mid-am players, while
a 72-hole stroke play format. The field size
144 players from Trans-
Mississippi Golf Association member clubs (or
players receiving a special invitation from the
Championship Committee). After 36 holes, a cut
made to the low 54 and ties who play the final
View Complete Tournament Information