Kevin Kite enjoyed being the second-round leader at the Springfield City Amateur for a week. And it was nice to wake up today as the third-round leader. But five golfers are within four shots of him going into today’s final round.
“Anybody can win this,” said Kite, who is 58 and a two-time senior champion. “I’ve just got to keep it in play and not make any dumb mistakes. And make a lot of pars.”
Those are popular thoughts among the six, hoping an even-par round of 72 — maybe a 71 — will win it. The North Course at Reid Park is playing as tough as ever with more tall-grass areas and fast greens.
“You can’t take the risk,” said Joe Turney, who is one shot off the lead.
Kite bogeyed the last two holes because of missed putts Saturday for a 75 and is one-under par for the tournament. But overall, he said his putter — and staying out of trouble — have carried him.
The group behind Kite is as eclectic as it is formidable. Turney, the 2005 winner and last year’s third-place finisher, shot 73, and perennial challenger Zach Fowler shot 72 to be tied one shot back at even par. Luke Wells, a Springfield High School sophomore, shot 76 and is two shots back. Norm Knowlton, another senior, shot 74 and is three shots back.
Then there’s Josh Sine. The record-tying nine-time champion shot 70, the best score of the day by two shots, to go from nine strokes down to four. If anybody looks over their shoulder today, they will be watching Sine.
“One swing, either a good one or a bad one, and that four strokes can be gone in one hole,” Sine said. “It’s up for grabs … it’s one swing away.”
Fowler overcame a quadruple bogey last weekend and a triple bogey Saturday to put himself in position for his first city am title.
“The reason I feel that I’m in contention in this golf tournament year after year is because I can deal with the bad stuff,” he said. “The bad stuff is going to happen on a tough golf course.”
Women’s city amateur: Wittenberg sophomore Devon Atchison of Pataskala is the first-round leader with a 78. Sharon Leach and Anne Holtz are four shots back in the 16-woman field. The final round is today.