GRANITEVILLE — Theo Humphrey and Brad Dalke will be in the final threesome for the second consecutive day in the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, but they’ll have a different playing partner for today’s final round.
He’s Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1-ranked junior in the country and current U.S. Junior Amateur champion.
Scheffler, of Dallas, overtook Humphrey, the first-round leader, thanks to a strong finish that featured an eagle on the 15th hole.
He has a one-shot advantage over Humphrey, of Greenwich, Conn., and a three-shot lead over Dalke, of Hobart, Okla., after 36 holes.
Scheffler, 17, is a Texan signee while the 18-year-old Humphrey is headed to Vanderbilt. The 16-year-old Dalke, already a strong player in his early teens, signed with Oklahoma State when he was just 13.
The three are familiar with each other from playing together on the national junior circuit.
“Scottie is a fantastic player,” Humphrey said. “I know he’s going to play great tomorrow, so I’m going to have to shoot a good round to beat him.”
“It will be fun,” Dalke said. “Scottie and I both usually play well when we’re paired together. He keeps me in good spirits.”
Scheffler shot 2-under-par 34 on the back nine for 3-under 69 on Friday while Humphrey had 39 for 72. Dalke has shot 70-73.
“That’s what I wanted to do at the beginning of the day – try to put some pressure on Theo,” Scheffler said. “He’s playing some pretty good golf.”
Scheffler, who opened with 71, is at 140 for two rounds. Humphrey, who opened with 69, is at 141 and Dalke at 143. Floridian Kristian Caparros (70 on Friday) and Cameron Champ (73), of California, are at 144.
Scheffler has rebounded from a four-putt that led to a triple bogey on the 13th hole in the opening round.
“I already forgot about that,” he said. “That was a long time ago.”
Humphrey appeared to be running away with the event Friday, building a five-shot lead over Scheffler through 10 holes. But Humphrey played his final three holes in 4-over and Scheffler went eagle, par, birdie, bogey to slip ahead and make it to the final pairing
“It’s pretty important (to be in the final pairing),” Scheffler said. “This way, I know what I’m shooting for. Today I was kind of looking back and guessing. Tomorrow, everything will be right there in front of me.
“I put my name at the top of the leaderboard and that will help,” Scheffler said. “That’s where I want to be. I want to be in control of the lead.”
Humphrey went the opposite way from Scheffler on the final holes with a double bogey on No. 16 and bogeys on Nos. 17 and 18.
“I played well all day; I just had a rough finish,” Humphrey said.
He was ready to put it behind him after signing his scorecard.
“Look, I’m one back of the lead going to the last day,” Humphrey said. “I have a great chance to win tomorrow.”