David Bradshaw survives shaky round to hold lead at Fuhrer Invitational
David Bradshaw headed to the practice range after a lunch that followed his shaky third-round performance at the Frank B. Fuhrer Jr. Invitational on Tuesday.
The San Diego resident and Harpers Ferry, W.Va., native saw his comfortable five-shot lead after Day 1 shrink to two shots as he heads to the final round of the 72-hole, three-day event Wednesday at Pittsburgh Field Club.
He shot 2-over-par 72 during the third round and stands at 6-under par 204, two shots better than 2017 champion and Penn State assistant golf coach T.J. Howe and Syracuse native Daniel McCarthy. Howe and McCarthy are at 4-under 206, and Spencer Mellon is fourth at 2-under 202.
Bradshaw is looking to win his fourth title. His victories came in 2012, ’15 and ’16. His 2016 win came in a playoff with a walk-off hole-in-one.
Howe shot 1-under 69, and McCarthy had the best round of the day at 3-under 67. Four players are tied for fifth at even par.
“I have to straighten out my swing,” Bradshaw said. “A lot of my shots off the tee were going right. I’m usually more accurate off the tee, and my errant shots started on No. 1.”
Bradshaw, who began the round at 8-under, bogeyed Nos. 1 and 3 and saw Howe take the lead after his hot start with birdies on Nos. 3 and 4 and an eagle on No. 5.
“I didn’t swing well,” Bradshaw said. “It was a grind out there, but I hung in there. I’m still in the lead, and I made a few great saves coming down the stretch. It wasn’t a terrible day.”
Bradshaw said his best save came on No. 17, when he chipped to within 4 feet and made a tricky downhill putt.
“I ended the day with a good par on No. 18,” Bradshaw said. “I like being in the lead at tournaments. It’s better than being in second place. I have no problem leading because you kind of play smart and not take risks.”
There were only five golfers who shot under par during the third round. McCarthy, Howe, Matt Schall at 2-under, Michael Gligic and Penn-Trafford graduate Dan Obremski, each at 1-under.
“The greens were lightning fast, the fastest I’ve seen then,” Obremski said after a roller-coaster round that included five birdies and four bogeys. “I hope I can make a move up the board. Anything is possible. I hope to go low. I believe a 61 is possible.”
Obremski is 11th at 4-over.
In 12th place is Franklin Regional senior Palmer Jackson, the only amateur in the field. Amateur Will Wears, the grandson of the late Arnold Palmer, pulled out of the tournament. Jackson is guaranteed the top amateur prize of pro shop credit.
“There is no disadvantage for me playing in this tournament,” Jackson said after he shot even-par 70. “This will help me, and I hope to learn something from watching all the good players here.
“I didn’t hit it that bad on the front nine. I just got a couple tough breaks. I made a couple great par saves on the back nine.”
Jackson had three bogeys on the front nine and three birdies on the back nine. He sits at 4-over (214).
The final round is scheduled for Wednesday, and tournament officials moved the starting times to 7 a.m. because of rain in the forecast.