Slender lead shared by Humston, Sangid

By Wes Holtsclaw

   As many expected going into the final round of the East Tennessee Amateur, there's a Humston at the top.
   However, it isn't Joe.
   Jimmy Humston, a redshirt freshman at Austin-Peay State University and a former Science Hill standout, shot a second-consecutive three-under par 69 to tie for the championship lead going into the final day of play at Elizabethton Golf Course.
   Jimmy's brother and a pre-tourney favorite, Joe, is only five strokes back after shooting a 72 on the second day of the tournament.
   Humston, a former ETA junior champion, birdied six holes on Saturday.
   "I had more birdies and more bogeys today, but I came out with the same score," said the younger Humston. "That was my goal today, to come out and shoot even or better. I got off to a decent start today. I birdied the first hole and that got me going."
   Humston shot a two-under par on the front nine and a one-under on the back. He is the only player in the field to shoot a round in the 60s during the first two days.
   Bryan Sangid is also atop the leaderboard after shooting a two-under 70.
   The former South Carolina-Aiken golfer held second place on Friday with a 68, but battled to hold onto a share of the lead.
   "It was up and down. I never got above par, but I never got way under either," said Sangid. "Overall, I'm satisfied with my round."
   Sangid had four birdies and two bogeys in the round, which helped him secure his goal of playing in the last Championship group.
   "I think I'm going to be in the last group, and that's where I want to be tomorrow," he said. "It's always a little more fun playing in the last group on Sunday."
   Friday's leader and current member of the East Tennessee State golfing team, Andrew Paduch, shot an even-par 72 after an impressive 67 during the previous round.
   Despite firing a three-over par during a portion of the round, Paduch came back with three out of four birdies on the final stretch to stay one shot off the top of the leaderboard.
   "I had three three-putts," said the former state runner-up at University High. "I came back strong. But tomorrow's going to be my day. It can only get better."
   Sitting alone in fourth place is Coastal Carolina golfer Chris Halkowitz.
   Halkowitz shot his second-consecutive 70 on Saturday.
   "I'm hitting it really well, I just need some putts to fall so I can shoot a good number," said Halkowitz, who had four birdies in his round. "I'm only two shots back now, so there's not too much to make up. It's a good spot to be in."
   Joe Humston and Brad Robinson are tied in fifth place with a 143 overall, while Jerod Baldwin and Richard Lowe both shot a 70 on Saturday to tie for seventh at only six strokes back.
   Kyle Kochelek, David Reynolds and Eric Parr are all tied for ninth at 145, while tournament favorite Chris Guy fell from fourth to 12th with a three-over par 75 on Saturday.
   Sunday's final round should be intriguing with Sangid, Humston, Paduch and Halkowitz manning the last group to tee off at Elizabethton.
   Robinson, Joe Humston, Robinson and Baldwin still have a decent crack at coming away with the victory in the second from last group, much like last year's champ, Adam Shanks who came from behind in the second group to take his third trophy.
   Friday was Paduch's day at the course.
   He shot a two-day best five-under par 67 to take the initial lead coming into Saturday's event.
   "I played really solid. I could've walked off the front (nine) shooting 30 easily," said Paduch, after Friday's round. "I missed a five footer on one, an eight footer on two and a ten footer on four."
   "It's been like that all day," he said. "Sometimes they fall, some times they don't. I didn't miss the fairway all day. I've been hitting the ball good."
   Sangid shot a 68 to hold second while Jimmy Humston kept a hold of third with his first round of 69.
   Humston began things on the first day with a first hole birdie as well.
   "I was nervous," Humston said about the first hole. "First hole birdies usually jinxes me., but I putted pretty good. It just kind of came together for me."
   A round of 70 last year was his previous best at the ETA.
   Joe Humston, Chris Guy and Brad Robinson were all tied for fifth with a one-under par 71.