Russell Marion, an Army soldier from North Carolina, shot a bogey-free round of golf Saturday to grab a four-stroke lead in the Alaska State Amateur at Palmer Golf Course.
Marion, 23, carded a 4-under-par 68 for the second straight day. He’ll enter Sunday’s final round in Palmer with a 54-hole total of 207, nine strokes under par and four strokes ahead of defending champion Greg Sanders.
Marion has broken par every day, starting with his first-round score of 71. On Saturday he made three birdies on the front nine to make the turn at three-under. He added another birdie on the back nine.
Sanders fired a one-under 71 Saturday, a score made possible by an eagle on the 18th hole. Added to his first-round 72 and second-round 68, he’s at 211.
Sanders shot par on the front nine and birdied No. 10 and No. 11 before running into trouble Saturday. He bogeyed three of the next six holes before his eagle-3 on the final hole.
It was the third eagle of the tournament for Sanders, the winner of multiple state championships. Marion is bidding for his first Alaska title.
In third place at 221 are Adam Baxter and Mark McMahan, who both shot their worst rounds Saturday. Baxter had a 76 and McMahan, who was 2-under after two rounds, is 5-over going into Sunday’s competition after shooting a 79.