The greens on the Owls’ home course played faster Saturday, and the pins were placed on the edges or near slopes on most of the holes, which made putting a chore.
Going into today’s final round, rising Kennesaw State junior Jimmy Beck is in a three-way tie for fourth with Jeff Knox of Augusta and Zachary Healy of Peachtree Corners at 3-over 216.
Beck is among a trio of golfers just two shots behind leader David Noll Jr. Travis Williamson and Jeff Knox are tied for second.
Chad Wilson, a former Kennesaw State player who now assists Owls coach Jay Moseley, joined active team members Jonathan Klotz and Austin Vick in a logjam for 13th at 6-over 219. Klotz and Vick each shot 72 on Saturday, while Wilson settled for a 75.
It wasn’t Beck’s best round Saturday, but he weathered the conditions at Pinetree. He had a rough start on the back nine with four bogeys and a birdie, but he played bogey-free on the front, including a birdie on No. 7.
In the end, Beck was aware of the challenges of beating the greens at Pinetree. He won the Pinetree Intercollegiate there in October.
“It’s a championship-style course, and I expected nothing less and nothing more,” Beck said. “I didn’t think that anyone would shoot under par for four days, even me.”
Unlike Beck, Klotz got off to a great start before stumbling at the end. The rising senior went the first 12 holes without a bogey — making three birdies in the process — but he finished the last six with two bogeys and a double on No. 7.
“I like our chances. I’m trying not to think about it,” Klotz said. “I just want to enjoy the course we’ve been practicing on for so long. I got off to a great start but was leaking oil coming into the house. It’s hard not to make mistakes out here. The course is playing tough.”
Vick bounced back from double bogeys on 16 and 17 by going bogey-free on the front and making birdies on holes 3-5. Wilson, who started on the back nine, birdied 18 to make the turn at 2-over but he had to settle for bogeys on 1 and 6 and no front-nine birdies.
Sam Curtis was the lone Kennesaw State golfer who struggled the most Saturday, falling back to 72nd after shooting 83.
Former Walker School golfer Matthew Hayes shot 76 and is in a group six back at 22nd, while Kennesaw’s Chris Hall (75) and is tied for 31st, eight shots off Noll’s lead.