Second straight 67 gives Medley lead in Amateur

Earnhardt in second place in Middle Atlantic event

Golf

October 06, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BETHESDA - Andrew Medley took a two-month layoff from competitive golf leading up to this weekend's Middle Atlantic Amateur Golf Championships, and the time off seems to have done him well.

Medley, of Jackson, Miss., shot his second consecutive 3-under 67 round yesterday to open a three-shot lead after the third round at the par-70, 6,674-yard Bethesda Country Club course.

"I really am surprised," said Medley, who played his previous tournament in August. "Two years ago, when I won the Eastern Amateur, I did the same thing. I took a month and a half off. Maybe it just kind of clears your mind and helps you collect your thoughts. You don't have any expectations. You just come out, play golf and don't worry about too much."

Medley, who started the day in third place, birdied the sixth, eighth, 15th and 16th holes, bogeyed the 10th and had 13 pars to move to 5-under for the tournament. He is the only competitor in the field to play under-par golf in two of the three opening rounds.

"Today I just putted well," said Medley, 22, who will be enrolling at the University of Arizona in the spring for his senior year of college after playing three seasons for the University of Mississippi.

Sitting within striking distance going into this morning's final round are second-round co-leaders Greg Earnhardt of Greensboro, N.C., and Pat Tallent of Vienna, Va. Earnhardt, 33, came out strong with birdies on the first and fifth holes to temporarily move to 5-under for the tournament. He birdied 14, but he also bogeyed nine, 10, 15 and 17 to fall to 2-under for the tournament.

Tallent, 49, who started at 3-under, had a more erratic day. He birdied one, four, 10 and 16; bogeyed three, eight, 13 and 18; and double-bogeyed six to record a 2-over 72 for the day. Tallent is in third place at 1-under for the tournament.

Tim Dilli of Towson is tied for eighth place.

Dilli, 42, a sales manager for United Book Press and Baltimore Country Club member, shot a 3-over 73 yesterday and has a three-day total of 6-over 216. He has just one three-putt in three rounds.

"I'm putting well," said Dilli, who made a 30-footer to save par on 18. "It's one of the better parts of my game."

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