Unheralded Ian McConnell shot a bogey-free 3-under 67 Thursday at the FootJoy Boys Invitational to take a share of the lead heading into the final round.
McConnell, No. 96 in the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings, started the day three shots back of second-round leader Jordan Spieth – the country’s top-ranked junior.
McConnell, 17, is playing in his second AJGA invitational and has never won an AJGA event. Last year, Spieth, 16, won the prestigious Ping Invitational and finished runner-up at the British Junior Open and Junior PGA Championship. Earlier this spring, he finished runner-up at the HP Boys Championship.
Richard Werenski (67) and 13-year-old Jim Liu (68) are third and fourth, respectively. After three consecutive birdies, Liu made double bogey on the par-4 18th that kept him from claiming a spot as a co-leader.
Three players – Justin Thomas, Tom Lovelady and Anthony Paolucci – are tied for fifth at 5 under.
The 54-hole cut fell at 8 over, which allowed 63 players to advance to Friday’s final round.