Nathaniel Crosby did not make a birdie and shot four-over-par 77, but still maintained a four-shot lead heading into Sunday's final round of the Middle Atlantic Golf Association Amateur at Woodholme. Crosby, the 1981 U.S. Amateur champion and son of the late Bing Crosby, has a three-round total of 219.
Marty West of Columbia Country Club, who began the day four shots behind Crosby, also had a birdieless 77 and could gain no ground after three-putting the final hole from 60 feet for par. West stands at 223, followed by clubmate Henri deLozier (72 -- 224) and first-round leader Gary Lipski of Hillendale (75 -- 224).
"That was pretty frustrating out there," said Crosby, 20. "I got a little down on myself when things were not happening. That's the worst round I'm going to have in this tournament, by five shots. I've got to go out there tomorrow and concentrate on the golf course."
Twice late in the round West had a chance to draw within three strokes, but he missed a four-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th hole and an eight-foot birdie putt on the par-5 finisher.
"I just couldn't score," said West, a former Walker Cup player and four-time winner in this event. "I'd like to have cut the lead in half going into the final round, but the tournament is not over yet. But Nathaniel is not going to play like that tomorrow."
David Abell, of Fort Pierce, Fla., (77 -- 225) the final golfer in the leading group, began six strokes behind Crosby. After Abell opened with three straight bogeys, due mainly to a balky putter, it became virtually a two-man tournament between 1981 U.S. Amateur champion Crosby and West, although deLozier, playing several groups ahead, made a brief charge. DeLozier was four under par for his round through 13 holes, but finished at one under par after taking double bogey at 14 and bogeys and 15 and 17 before finishing with birdie.
West and Crosby finished the front nine in two-over-par 37s.
West pulled within three shots with par at the par-4 10th hole when Crosby bogeyed after hitting over the green with his approach. Crosby opened a four-shot margin again with par at the 15th hole when West took bogey after driving into heavy grass.
They matched each other with a par-bogey-par finish.