Bryan Wise, Ben Corfee and Patrick Murphy share the lead entering Monday’s final round of the California State Fair Men’s Amateur Championship.
They took divergent paths to the top.
Granite Bay’s Wise battled the specter of a slow-play penalty, a fractured wrist that “kills me right after” shots from hardpan and afternoon greens to shoot a 1-under-par 71 on Sunday.
Davis’ Corfee was in the first group at 7 a.m. Sunday, singing birds the only distraction. He had four birdies and an eagle on Haggin Oaks’ five par-5s en route to a 67.
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Murphy, from Calgary, Alberta, was in the last group at 1:28 p.m. He closed birdie-birdie after 6 p.m. for a 68.
The three are tied for the 36-hole lead at 8-under 136. El Dorado Hills teenager Cooper Hunt (71) and UC Irvine freshman Ramiz Jamal (68) trail by one shot.
Wise was two shots clear of the field in the middle of the 10th fairway when his threesome was warned about being two holes behind the group ahead. Fearing a mid-round penalty and unaware that his group had until the 18th hole to make up the gap under a Northern California Golf Association policy that went into effect this year, he made hurried pars on Nos. 10 and 11.
“I didn’t read the birdie putts on Nos. 10 and 11 as closely as I should have, and consequently I missed them,” he said.
After going the first 29 holes without dropping a shot to par, he made a double bogey on the par-3 12th hole after missing the green to the left and three-putting from 6 feet.
“After that, I told myself that I was done going fast,” he said.
Corfee, a UC Davis senior, won Sacramento’s other high-profile amateur event, the Memorial Amateur at Ancil Hoffman, to kick off the summer. Murphy, a UCLA freshman, was the Player of the Year on the Future Collegians World Tour. Both were coveted Division I recruits; pro golf beckons.
Wise played in the middle of the ladder for the Granite Bay High School team that won the state championship in 2012.
“I wasn’t good in high school,” he said.
Wise is a senior at Chapman University, a Division III school in Orange. At one point last season, he was the 11th-ranked D-III player in the country. He has no pro golf aspirations, hence his decision to play on despite being diagnosed with a fractured left wrist two weeks ago. The wrist will need six weeks of immobility at some point.
“My golf career is probably over after this year, so this is my priority,” he said.
Twelve players are within four shots of the lead. Monday’s final round figures to be a shootout.
Steve Pajak: 916-326-5526