First-round leader Gill FitzHugh of Army Navy gave up the lead briefly yesterday with 40 on the front nine but regrouped for an incoming 33, a 143 total and a three-slot lead heading into today's final round of the Northern Virginia Amateur Golf Tournament at River Bend Golf and Country Club.

No one seemed to want the lead in the stifling heat. FitzHugh, after opening Friday with 70 and a two-stroke lead, three-putted the second green and added three front-nine bogeys to fall back.

During front-nine play, District Amateur champion Rob Black, Bill Holmes and Dean Gilchrist each owned or shared the lead. All but FitzHugh wilted in the afternoon heat. Black shot 77-149, Holmes 78-150 and Gilchrist 80-153.

FitzHugh, aptly dressed in shorts, said his problems on the front nine were attributable to swinging too hard when playing against the wind. "I turned on the bogey machine and I almost couldn't turn her off," said the stocky former District Amateur champion.

Holmes, a senior at George Mason University playing out of International, pulled even with FitzHugh on the par fifth hole by making par from a green side sand trap. FitzHugh bogeyed after driving behind a pine tree.

Black birdied the par-5 ninth hole so he and Holmes, playing in the same group, and Gilchrist -- with an even par front nine iln the group ahead -- were tied for the lead. FitzHugh was one stroke behind after a mediocre four-over-par front nine.

Holmes fell out of the picture by hitting over the par-3 10th hole and taking double bogey. Black bogeyed 10th and did the same on the 11th when he took a penalty stroke after hooking against a fence. Gilchrist came unglued with a back-nine 44.