TYLER, Texas (KETK) – All three East Texans in contention made moves on moving day at the Texas State Open.
Bullard high grad Blake Elliott turned what had already been a solid day for him into a tear through the back-nine, as he birdied his last six holes.
Elliott is now tied for second at 13-under par heading into Friday’s final round.
Whitehouse alum Bryan Baker had his best day of the tournament shooting a 65, and enjoying a bogey-free outing. He’s at five-under
Lindale and SFA product Stetson McMillan shot a 69, and is at three-under.
Northern Texas PGA release:
Kyle Pritchard of Castroville, TX, took back the lead, shooting a 9-under 61 in today’s round to sit at 19-under par, 191 for the Championship. Pritchard carded nine birdies during his round with four on the front starting on holes #5 and #6 and then again on #8 and #9, and notched an additional five birdies on the back to finish the day bogey-free. With rounds of 67-63-61–191, Pritchard will head into tomorrow’s final round with a six-stroke advantage over four players who sit T2.
“They set the course up a little easier today and my goals were just to make as many birdies as possible. It was the third round so I tried to get something going. They told me right before I teed off that [Ben] Kern shot 61, so he’s pretty good and I figured I could follow that,” Pritchard said of today’s round. “You have to putt well and have a good short game. The course sets up for a draw almost every hole. I don’t draw it big, but you have to draw it at least a little bit, so it’s driver, putter and wedge, that’s it. For tomorrow, my game plan is going to be fairways and greens. Same thing as today, not take anything for granted, just one hole at a time. There’s some hard holes, there’s some easy holes, so it’s just one hole at a time.”
For the week, Pritchard has as many eagles as bogeys – two.
Many players took advantage of moving day including the four professionals tied for second. Derek Oland of Plano, TX, ended up finishing the day with a total of eight birdies and an eagle, while Blake Elliott of Bullard, TX, also had a solid third round, carding nine total birdies, six of which he captured on the last six holes of the day. Alex Carpenter of Dallas, TX, finished the round having carded nine total birdies and Chase Barnes of Cypress, TX, finished up with a total of five birdies. All four players currently sit tied for second at 13-under 197.
Colin Kober (a) of Southlake, TX, and rising Senior at Baylor University, and fellow teammate and Round Two leader Ryan Grider (a), are currently tied for Low Amateur honors as well as sixth place in the Championship at 12-under-par 198.
Defending champion Ben Kern, PGA, made a big move up the leaderboard today also firing a 9-under 61. Not only did he move up the Championship leaderboard heading into tomorrow’s final round, but he is also in a strong position to claim Low PGA Professional honors for the third year in a row. Kern is currently leading the division by 6 strokes.
All four rounds are being contested at The Cascades Club, a 6,882-yard, par 70 layout. For the Championship, hole #10 is being played as a 490 yard, par 4 rather than a par 5. The purse for the Tanos Exploration II / Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open is a record $208,560, one of the largest State Open purses in the country. The champion will win $41,000.
Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Northern Texas PGA Foundation’s scholarship program with the creation of the Tanos Exploration II / Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open Scholarship. Lauren James from Judson, Texas, was awarded this scholarship. This year the NTPGA Foundation awarded $406,000 in scholarships to 50 high school seniors from North Texas. The Championship is sponsored by Tanos Exploration II and Patterson-UTI Drilling. It is presented by Joyce Crane and Veritex Bank and is supported by Cavender’s, Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health Systems, Energy Weldfab, Jucy’s Hamburgers and Patterson Tyler.
The final round will commence on Friday, August 2 at 8:00 a.m. The final group of Pritchard and Oland will tee off at 1:12 p.m.
Admission is free to all.
Please note: (a) denotes amateur, and amateurs will be awarded gift certificates.