Dramatic finishes spark third round of Sand Creek Championships
A dramatic birdie on the 18th hole at Sand Creek Station to stay in the lead was followed by an even more dramatic eagle to stay in contention is how play ended Thursday in the third round of the All Pro Tour Sand Creek Championships.
Michael Perras of Pasadena, Texas, chipped in from about 10 feet out for a birdie to take the lead of the tournament at 200. In the final group of play, Andrew Presley of Fort Worth hit an eagle on 18 to get within a stroke of the lead. Brandon McIver of Billings, Mont., also is tied for second at 201.
Perras shot a 65 in the third round, the low score of the day. Presley, who led after each of the first two rounds, shot a 70. McIver finished the day at 68.
“That was a good finish,” Perras said. “I missed a few short putts today. I made my fair share, but that was a good finish. I definitely moved my way up, played solid and put myself in position to do well tomorrow. … I just have to play a good round, keeping the ball on the fairway.”
Perras is a graduate of the University of Houston. He has been playing professionally for three years.
“Things have been good,” Perras said. “I’ve played a little bit in China in the PGA China. I played on the Central American tour and I’ve played quite a few events on the APT tour. I enjoyed it.”
Perras said he’s playing his first tournament at Sand Creek Station.
“I love it,” he said. “It’s in really good condition. It has a good layout. It’s been really fun. Every one’s been very friendly.”
McIver had a rough patch in the middle of his round. After a double bogey on 12, he birdied 14, eagled 16 and birdied 18 to get within a stroke of the lead.
“I knew there were some good holes coming in,” McIver said. “The wind was switching on the last holes, and I was able to capitalize on that. That was a major bonus for today. I just have to do the same thing (Friday). Things can change a lot in a hurry on this course in a short span of holes. You have to keep the ball in play.”
McIver entered the tournament in second place on the APT money list. A University of Oregon player from Billings, Mont., he is a five-year pro currently based out of the Dallas area.
“It feels good,” McIver said. “Tomorrow will be a good opportunity. I think the wind might be up a hair, but I like that. It separates the field when the wind is up. You just go play the best you can.”
Presley had three bogeys on the back nine, but the eagle on 18 put him back in contention.
“I lost a little steam in the middle of the round,” Presley said. “The speed of my putts wasn’t very good. I had a couple of three putts. I finished good on 18. I hit a driver and had about 118, 119 yards to play. I hit a pitching wedge over the pin, but it rolled back and ended up going in. I’m right where I want to be. One back is a good spot.”
A player from Louisiana State and Texas Christian, Presley has been playing professionally for four years, but he is back after taking a year off.
“I went to work at a financial group in Fort Worth,” Presley said. “I came back after a year. … When I was at work, I was thinking about golf and when I was playing golf, I was thinking about work. I talked to a lot of people who knew my situation. This was probably the better option for me.”
Marcos Montenegro of Buenos Aries, Logan McCracken of Oklahoma City, and Jeff Wibana, all tied for fourth at 204.
APT Sand Creek Championship
Sand Creek Station
Par 72, 7,339 yards
1. Michael Perras, Pasadena, TX 66-69-65—200
T2. Andrew Presley, Ft. Worth 64-67-70—201
T2. Brandon McIver, Billings, MT 68-65-68—201
T4. Marcos Montenegro, Buenos Aires, Argentina 71-67-66—204
T4. Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 68-69-67—204
T4. Jeff Wibawa, Houston 67-70-67—204
7. Myles Creighton, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 67-68-70—205
T8. Brendon Jelley, Tulsa, OK 65-70-71—206
T8. Mitchell Meissner, San Antonio 68-66-72—206
T10. Chris Naegel, Wildwood, MO 70-71-66—207
T10. Gage Ihrig, Goodland 66-74-67—207
T10. Jack Thompson, Adelaide, Australia 67-68-72—207
T13. Garrett May, Carrollton, TX 71-70-67—208
T13. Ryan Wallen, Blaine, WA 74-66-68—208
T13. Brian Dwyer, Southlake, TX 68-70-70—208
T13. Grant Schroeder, Montgomery, TX 70-68-70—208
T13. Zach James, Whitesboro, TX 72-66-70—208
T13. Sam Stevens, Fort Worth 69-69-70—208
T13. Sam Lee, Fiji 72-65-71—208
T13. Wells Padgett, Wichita 70-68-70—208
T13. Peyton Wilhoit, North Little Rock, AR 71-65-72—208
T13. Austin Jordan, Benbrook, TX 65-70-73—208
T23. Jacob Solomon, Auburn, AL 69-72-68—209
T23. Jack Ireland, The Woodlands, TX 68-72-69—209
T23. Matt Echelmeier, Columbia, MO 71-69-69—209
T23. Taylor Bibbs, Dallas 68-72-69—209
T23. Callum McNeill, Hockley, TX 70-69-70—209
T23. Jeff Burton, Scottsdale, AZ 67-72-70—209
T23. Tyson Reeder, Edmond, OK 68-71-70—209
T23. Bobby Hudson, Dallas 67-71-71—209
T23. Rob Hudson, Dallas 67-69-73—209
T32. Steven Kupcho, Westminster, CO 70-71-69—210
T32. Zach Bauchou, Forest, VA 72-69-69—210
T32. Dan Erickson, Berthoud, CO 71-69-70—210
T32. Charlie Hillier, New Zealand 70-70-70—210
T36. Chris Korte, Littleton, CO 71-70-70—211
T36. Trent Whitekiller, Sallisaw, OK 69-72-70—211
T36. Noah Hofman, McCook, NE 70-70-71—211
39. Jake McCrory, Deer Park, TX 70-70-72—212
T40. Brandon Smith, Frisco, TX 69-71-73—213
T40. David Micheluzzi, Melbourne, Australia 68-72-73—213
T40. Blaine Hale, Dallas 72-68-73—213
T40. William Buhl, Fayetteville, AR 70-70-73—213
T40. John Hill, San Antonio 70-69-74—213
T45. David Laskin, Gilbert, AZ 71-70-73—214
T45. Matt Mabrey, Sand Springs, OK-71-70-73—214
T45. Cooper Dossey, Austin 72-69-73—214
T48. Riley Casey, Abilene, TX 71-69-75—215
T48. Matthew Cheung, Hong Kong 68-71-76—215
50. Jake Hendrix, Austin 71-68-77—216
Mark Schnabel can be reached at email@example.com