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Kern Seizes Lead In Impressive Fashion During Round Three of the 48th Tanos Exploration II / Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open

August 2nd, 2018

Tyler, Texas – Ben Kern of Georgetown, TX, and PGA head professional at Georgetown Country Club fired an impressive 8-under in today’s round to sit at 14-under 196 for the Championship. Kern carded eight birdies during his round with five coming on the front nine starting on hole #3 then on holes #5 through #8. He notched an additional three birdies on the back nine, finishing the day with no bogeys. With rounds of 70-64-62, Kern currently holds a three-stroke advantage over 2009 Champion Mikel Martinson of Arlington, TX. Martinson is currently in possession of second place after shooting 5-under 65 today to go 11-under 199 for the Championship.

“62 is a score I’ll take every single day obviously, but I’ve been hitting really well the last, let’s say, month. It’s really starting to come together,” said Kern after his notable round. “It’s been fun to watch everything unfold and finally start seeing those putts drop for birdie.”

Kern however wasn’t the only competitor to shoot 8-under 62 today. Michael Salazar (a) of El Paso, TX and rising Junior at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ also fired a remarkable 62 in the third round. Salazar, not only positioned himself in the current top spot for Low Amateur honors, but is also currently tied for third place in the Championship at 10-under par 200. Also in third are Kyle Pritchard of Castroville, TX and Kolton Crawford of Mansfield, TX. 

In addition to sitting atop the Championship leaderboard, Kern is also in strong position to claim Low PGA Professional honors for the second year in a row.  Kern is currently leading the division by 12 strokes.
 
All four rounds are being contested at The Cascades Club, a 6,882-yard, par 70 layout. The purse for the Tanos Exploration II / Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open is a record $205,000, one of the largest State Open purses in the country. The champion will win $42,500.
 
Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Northern Texas PGA Junior Golf Foundation’s scholarship program with the creation of the Tanos Exploration II / Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open Scholarship. Emma French from Bullard, Texas was awarded this scholarship. This year the NTPGA Junior Golf Foundation awarded more than $307,500 in scholarships to 44 high school seniors from North Texas. 

The final round will commence on Friday, August 3 at 8:00 a.m.  The final group of Kern and Martinson will tee off at 12:16 p.m. 

Starting times and groupings can be found at www.ntpga.com. Admission is free to all. 

Please note: (a) denotes amateur, and amateurs will be awarded gift certificates.

Round Three results.