Last year, Logan Harrell had his weekend at the North Carolina Amateur Championships cut short when he failed to make the cut.
Now, the Huntersville native finds himself in contention to win one of the region’s biggest amateur golf tournaments.
Harrell shot a 3-under-par 68 during Saturday’s third round at the N.C. Amateur to move within striking distance of the lead entering Sunday’s final round at the Carolina Golf Club in Charlotte.
Harrell, who played at Hopewell High, is among a group of three players at 9-under 204, three strokes behind Charlotte’s Bailey Patrick Jr., who shot a 3-under 68 Saturday to lead at 12-under 201.
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“I'm just going to go out (Sunday) and try to do the same things I’ve done the last three days,” said Harrell, who just completed his senior season with N.C. State’s men's golf team.
“I'm going to try to make a couple more putts, and give myself as many opportunities as I can. There’s a low score out there, so (Sunday) could be a shootout.”
Harrell finished Saturday’s round with three birdies and no bogeys, a contrast to the eight birdies and two bogeys he posted over the first two rounds on the par-71 Carolina Golf Club course.
However, the rounds posted Saturday were lower than from the first two days, which several players said was from a combination of tougher pin placements and gusting winds.
“But the golf course is in absolutely perfect shape,” Harrell said. “It’s out there to go get it (a low round), but you’ve got to hit good shots all the way around.”
Patrick, who shot a 9-under 62 to take the first-round lead, bounced back from his even-par 71 Friday with four birdies and a bogey Saturday. He holds a two-shot lead over Charlotte’s Jim Pearson and second-round leader Joshua Martin of Pinehurst, both at 10-under 203.
“I don’t think I've ever held the lead heading into the final round,” said Patrick, who plays for North Carolina’s men’s golf team. “I'm excited. Hopefully, I'll get some good breaks.”
Patrick will have some challengers, with 10 players within five shots of the lead.
Wesley Conover of Holly Springs, who plays at East Carolina, shot a 5-under 66 for Saturday’s low round, and is tied with Harrell and Raleigh’s Carter Jenkins at 9-under 204.
Concord’s Trevor Cone and Beau Cutts of Henderson are at 8-under 205, with three others – Greensboro's Scott Harvey, Burlington's William Register and Jeff Krieger of Arden – tied at 7-under 206.
“There's no telling what the target number is going to be,” Harrell said. “But I'm looking forward to (Sunday). I just need to do what I've been doing the last three days.”