The result is a one-stroke lead for Jasper native Steve Hudson and a host of contenders heading into today’s final round.
Hudson, who led by three strokes entering the day, shot an even par 71 to give him a two-day total of 135.
Matt Gourgeot, last year’s second-place finisher, followed up his opening-round 69 with a four-under 67 on Saturday to pull within one stroke of Hudson with a 136 total.
Micah Jett, who led after two rounds last year, also made a push, shooting a 67 for a 140 total, five strokes behind Hudson. Hunter Fikes made a run of his own, shooting a 68 to go along with his 72 on Friday for a 140 total. Richard Douglas, Jay Hayes and Joey Fortner are also five back.
Today’s final foursome includes Hudson, Gourgeot, Fortner and Hayes and tees off at 1 p.m. today. Jett, Fikes, Webb and Douglas make up the next to last group, which tees off at 12:50 p.m.
Hudson shot a seven-under 64 on Friday, closing the round with four straight birdies. His game wasn’t as crisp on Saturday.
“I got off to a shaky start and couldn’t get into a good rhythm,” said Hudson, who is looking for his first invitational win since 2010. “I birdied the last two holes. I was tickled to have a 71.
“We all struggled in our group. It’s funny how when you are playing good, you can feed off each other. Today we were struggling and we struggled off each other. We had a bunch of lip outs. It was one of those days where you don’t have your best, but you get through.”
Hudson was the low man in his foursome. Fortner shot a one-over 72, Nick Davis shot a 76 and Patrick Drummond shot a 79.
A total of 10 golfers shot under par on Saturday, led by Gourgeot and Jett.
Sixteen golfers make up the Championship A flight: Hudson (135), Gourgeot (136), Jett (140), Fikes (140), Douglas (140), Hayes (140), Fortner (140), Scotty Webb (141), Charles Noto (141), Simdre Rambjoer (141), John Coles (143), Andrew Hillis (143), Alan Pope (143), Nick Davis (143), Sonny Peake (144) and Earle Bidez (144).
Hudson, Cole and Bidez are former champions.
Seven golfers are tied for the lead in the Championship B flight with a 145 total: Wayne Stone, Dalton Humphrey, Ashton Nix, Chris Lemley, Shane Wright, Lew Mitchell and Andrew Lowery.
Rick Bolling, Brandon Beasley, Jayson Cox and Ryan Hensley are tied for the lead in the Championship C flight at 149.
In the Championship D flight, Keith Russell, Ryan Aldridge, Jimmy Jones, Bob Cox and Scott McGee are tied for the lead at 153.
A group of six is tied atop the first flight. Weston Griffith, Dillon Humphrey, Tyler Bowen, Jimmy Tom Goosetree, David Donahoo and Bob Renfroe are tied at 158.
Adam Russell and Joe Keith lead the second flight at 163 and Jeffrey Chriswell, Bob Maddox and Scott Sink lead the third flight at 171.