Cody Godfrey came within one shot of tying the course record at WindStone Golf Club in the first round of the Chattanooga Men's Metro Championship on Friday.
Godfrey, a sophomore at Tennessee Wesleyan College, added to his lead in the second round Saturday.
With teammate Keoni Vidrine serving as caddie, Godfrey shot a 4-under-par 68 and sits at 12-under 132 heading into his final round today, beginning at 9:20.
"I hit it almost as good as I did yesterday. I just didn't make the putts," Godfrey said. "I plan on doing the same thing tomorrow as the plan so far and hit the same clubs off the tee and keep playing like I'm playing."
The six golfers within eight shots of Godfrey include three former professionals, two who can't buy a beer and somebody who helped build the back nine at WindStone about 20 years ago.
Former pro Richard Spangler is the closest pursuer. He shot even par and sits five shots behind Godfrey. Former pro Mike Dunn shot 68 and is six back.
Also six shots off the lead is Gordon Lee assistant principal Shonn Weldon, who played college golf at Kennesaw State.
"I was telling some guys that I worked on this course and built the back nine back when I was in college," said Weldon, who added that he plays less than 10 times a year. "I played a practice round, and that was my first round out here since 1993."
Lee University sophomore Hunter Vest is seven behind his former high school teammate at Walker Valley. Former pro Chris Schmidt and McCallie junior Gordon Hulgan are at 4-under 140 for the tournament but eight behind the confident Godfrey.
Hulgan had a long day of golf. He began the morning by playing in the Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club junior championship. Baylor senior Mikey Feher tied him through 18 holes of regulation at 1-under 70. They proceeded to a sudden-death playoff, where they combined to shoot 9 under in the four-hole playoff that Hulgan won with a birdie.
Hulgan sat beside the 18th green at WindStone to watch his competitors finish the hole, after he played 40 holes in Saturday's heat.
"I'm exhausted," he said. "I got tired as the day went on, and my score showed."
The course record of 61 belongs to recent Georgia Tech graduate James White, who shot that score in the first round of the 2007 Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic when it played as a par-70. White shot 77 in the final round and lost by seven.
The final group today includes Godfrey, Spangler and Dunn.
"I have to play more aggressive than I did today," said Spangler, who also played with Godfrey on Saturday. "I waited for him to make a mistake. He's taking off corners with driver when I'm hitting 5-irons.
"The kid has ice water in his veins."