Scott Inman of Springfield Country Club shot a three-under-par 69 yesterday for a two-day total of 140 and a three-stroke lead in the eighth Northern Virginia Amateur golf championship at Chantilly.

Inman, 19, who will be a sophomore this fall at Louisiana State University, which he attends on a golf scholarship, had five birdies and two bogeys in overtaking first-round leader Robert Black Jr., who is second at 143.

Last year's champion, Gill FitzHugh, continued to struggle. "I will not be the defending champion next year," he proclaimed after taking a bogey on the 16th hole. "Not unless I make up eight shots. But at least those guys behind me (on the course) are playing very well."

The cutoff for today's final round, beginning at 12:30 p.m., was 155, or 11 over par. Twenty-seven golfers qualified.

Inman is somewhat of a mystery man in this tournament. He never has won a tournament and this is only his first full summer season of competition. Yesterday he performed like a pro.

Most of his drives were long and straight and his approach shots found the green on 15 of the 18 holes.

But Inman's ability was most telling on the 18th after his drive landed under a pine tree. With branches shrouding his shoulders, Inman blasted his approach onto the green 35 feet from the cup. His ensuing putt stopped at the edge of the hole.

"I had to choke up on a nine-iron for that shot and use a restricted swing just hoping to reach the green," Inman said. "And then I missed that putt by a whisker."

Putting, claimed Black, was a part of the game he forgot to bring along. "My putting was awful today," he said. "I missed four three-footers on the front nine and just couldn't find the cup.

"But tomorrow's another day. I'm three back now, but three shots can go just like that."

Ken Weakley had the most frustrating day. After shooting a two-day low of 33 on the front nine, Weakley's game crumbled and he shot 40 on the back side