Caleb Surratt (Aiken Standard)
You can’t stay hot forever.
Monday qualifier Caleb Surratt who held a 5-shot lead coming into the third round of the Palmetto Amateur, saw his lead dwindle down to a single shot.
Everything was going according to plan for the 16-year-old top-ranked junior in North Carolina. That is until Surratt came down to earth on the par-4 fifth hole. Carding a triple bogey, Surratt was playing keep away not only from the charging field but from himself as well.
"Honestly, my triple on 5 didn't bother me that much because I hit a perfect chip that hit the flag and then bounced down the slope, and then a perfect chip that spun down again," Surratt told the Aiken Standard. "I wasn't too worked up about that, but I just could never really get it going today. I'm feeling good going into tomorrow."
Out in 37, Surratt settled in on the back nine at Palmetto Golf Club with birdies on Nos. 10, 14, and 18 alongside a bogey on the par-4 13th to post a one-over 71, dropping a shot from his 11-under total heading into the day.
The aforementioned charging field is highly talented. Last week’s North & South champion Tyler Strafaci lurks just one shot behind Surratt. Putting together three solid rounds of 68, 66, and 67, Strafaci is happy about where his game is as he heads into Saturday’s final round.
"Coming out here where the greens are relatively severe but they're soft, for me putting it in the right places,” Strafaci said. “I'm still pretty precise from Pinehurst, so I'm putting myself in good spots."
In third place, just three shots off the lead sits South Carolina senior Caleb Proveaux. Well positioned, Proveaux is ready to get back out to a course he’s very familiar with following an eight birdie performance on Friday.
"This just feels like home to me," said Proveaux. “Every time I come out here I just feel like I can light it up."
The trio will be the last group off of the No. 1 tee Saturday morning at 9:30 am EST. Four golfers are at 6-under and four more at 5-under setting a stage that will make for plenty of fireworks.
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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