SEA ISLAND, Ga. – Bryson Dechambeau shot a 2-under 70 to storm into a three-way tie for the lead after two rounds at the Jones Cup Invitational at Ocean Forest Golf Club.
Dechambeau, a sophomore at SMU, joins reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Mike McCoy and Central Florida’s Greg Eason atop the leaderboard heading into Sunday’s final round.
“It’s awesome to be near the top,” said Dechambeau, who’s playing in the event for the first time. “It’s a good start to the season.”
Eason shared the lead after Round 1 and is the only player from that trio to hold form Saturday on Sea Island. After a 2-under 70 on Friday, Eason battled a tough front nine during which he made three bogeys and a birdie. He came in even on the back to stay atop the leaderboard.
LSU’s Curtis Thompson and Auburn’s Michael Johnson shared the lead with Eason after the first round, but both shot 76 Saturday to fall to a tie for eighth place.
Dechambeau, who started the day tied for 15th, was red-hot to start his round, recording birdies on the Nos. 1 and 2 – both par 4s – and was able to tame the firm and fast Ocean Forest for the rest of the round.
“I made a few long putts today and unlike (Friday), I was driving the ball well today,” Dechambeau said. “The greens were still very fast, but I like them that way. This course is in great shape, and I think it suits me pretty well.”
McCoy, one of just a handful of mid-amateurs in the event, shot 71 to climb from ninth place.
Arkansas’ Sebastian Cappelen, Kent State’s Corey Conners, Coastal Carolina’s Andrew Dorn and reigning U.S. Junior champion Scottie Scheffler, a Texas verbal-commit from Dallas, are tied for fourth place.
Four more players join Thompson and Johnson in eighth place, including U.S. Walker Cup Team member Cory Whitsett of Alabama and recent Tennessee graduate Rick Lamb, who shot the day’s low round, a 3-under 69.
There are 12 players within three shots of the lead and another 13 inside of five shots entering what is bound to be a wild final round.
“It’s anybody’s game, but in the end you can’t worry about what anyone else is doing,” Dechambeau said. “I know the course will be set up pretty tough.”