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El Paso, TX — World Amateur No. 104 Corey Pereira cards second consecutive eight-under-par 62 to open a five stroke lead heading into the final round of the 48th Pacific Coast Amateur Championship at the Pine Canyon Club.
Pereira, a sophomore at the University of Washington, made two eagles, five birdies and a single bogey to provide himself a comfortable five stroke lead going into tomorrow's play.
After starting the day two strokes back of second round leader Lorens Chan (World Amateur No.93) of Honolulu, HI., the Cameron Park Country Club member, playing in the second-to-last group, put his foot on the accelerator pedal early, making eagle for the second day on the par-5 520-yard 4th. He would then birdie three out of his next four holes to make the turn in an impressive five-under 30.
Pereira would continue his hot play into the back nine, making back-to-back birdies on holes 10 and 11, at that point sitting at seven-under for the day. A bogey on the par-4 363 yard 14th would bring him back to six under. After making par on 15, Pereira headed to the reachable par-5 16th needing to make low numbers to continue his quest for an elusive '59'. He did just that by making a 65-foot eagle putt merely seconds before the horn blew for dangerous playing conditions.
"Back at home, anytime someone is low or trying to shoot 59 we call it '59 watch' and all that," stated Pereira while walking to the range following posting his score.
"There was definitely a point after I made that eagle putt that if I birdied my next hole and holed out, I could do '59'. I guess it was a low key '59 watch'."
Pereira would par both holes coming in after a brief 20-minute delay, narrowly missing a birdie on 18 to tie Alex McMahon's course record posted yesterday, to solidify a three-round 194, -16 total (70-62-62).
"I didn't think I could do it again after yesterday so it's a nice surprise," mentioned Pereira.
Asked about the pressure of carrying a lead heading into tomorrow's final round, Pereira didn't seem phased.
"I've carried a lead in junior events before but nothing of this caliber. I think I am well prepared to handle it. If I can keep doing what I am doing, I'm sure there will be no problems."
Second round leader Chan would post a respectable third round one-under 69, bringing his 54-hole total to -11 (67-63-69-199). This places him in a two-way tie with Whittier, CA native Mark Anguiano (World Amateur No.30) who birdied his final hole of the day to get himself into the final pairing tomorrow after rounds of 65-66-68 (199).
Matching Pereira's score of 62 during today's play was 2014 New Mexico/West Texas amateur champion and Albuquerque native Sam Saunders (World Amateur No.228). Saunders, a senior on the University of New Mexico Lobos men's golf team, had seven birdies, one eagle and a lone bogey on the difficult par-4 535 7th hole to post rounds of 69-72-62-203 (-7), good enough for a tied sixth position.
"I drove it real good in the fairway. I hit it close a few times and made those but didn't make too many mistakes," said Saunders.
"I made a few good putts from 15 feet or so but didn't make any bombs or chip in. I kind of just plotted myself around. I was a little disappointed with yesterdays round but 10 shots lower today was nice. Hopefully go post another good one tomorrow."
Final round action will continue tomorrow starting at 7:00am off holes one and ten. Live scoring will be collected throughout the play with live tweeting for the final grouping from Twitter handle @pacificcoastam using hashtag #PACCoast.
Held on an annual basis since 1967, with roots dating back to 1901, the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship boasts a rich history of showcasing some of the most talented golfers in the United States, Canada and beyond.
Past champions of the Pacific Coast Amateur who have gone on to successful professional careers include PGA Tour winners Billy Mayfair (1987, 1988), Jason Gore (1997) and Ben Crane (1998) as well as Web.com Tour winners and brothers Michael Putnam (2004) and Andrew Putnam (2010).
For more information on the Championship, visit www.pacificcoastamateur.com
1 Corey Pereira Cameron Park, Calif. -16 70 62 62
T2 Mark Anguiano Whittier, Calif. -11 65 66 68
T2 Lorens Chan Honolulu, Hawaii -11 67 63 69
4 Alex McMahon Tucson, Ariz. -10 72 61 67
5 Andrew McCain Minneapolis, Minn. -9 62 70 69
T6 Kevin Murphy Rogue River, Ore. -7 68 68 67
T6 Sam Saunders Albuquerque, N.M. -7 69 72 62
T6 Cody Blick Danville, Calif. -7 68 70 65
T6 Matt Hansen Los Osos, Calif. -7 69 69 65
T6 Clancy Waugh North Palm Beach, Fla. -7 65 69 69
T11 Devin Miertschin El Paso, Texas -5 68 70 67
T52 Jere Pelletier El Paso, Texas +6 75 69 72
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