AIKEN — A back-and-forth third round at the Palmetto Amateur turned one-sided by the end of Friday.
Zhengkai Bai shot 1-under-par 69 to race to a six-shot lead at 11-under entering today’s final round at Palmetto Golf Club. USC Aiken’s Johnson Holliday shot 73 and is 5-under.
Bai, a sophomore at Central Florida, played steadily late in the day to outlast Holliday, a redshirt senior for the Pacers, 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. Bai, who tied for second at the 3M Augusta Invitational in April, 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.
Jonathan Keppler, Caleb Proveaux, Henry Shimp and Alex Green are tied for fifth at 2-under.
Augusta University’s Emmanuel Kountakis made the cut at 7-over after a 77.