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Braden Bailey recovers with eagle, tied for fourth in Lufkin

SOUTHSIDE BANK OPEN LEADERBOARD

At Crown Colony Country Club, Lufkin

Through three rounds; Par 72

Sam Stevens 68-68-68—204

M.J. Daffue 67-72-65—204

Peyton Wilhoit 71-68-68—207

Brian Rowell  70-72-68—210

Blake Pugh 72-70-68—210

Braden Bailey 70-68-72—210

Cory Churchman 70-71-70—211

Carson Jacobs  76-69-67—212

Five tied at 213

An eagle on the 16th hole helped Groves native Braden Bailey recover from a three-over pace to turn in an even-par 72 in Thursday’s third round of the All-Pro Tour’s Southside Bank Open in Lufkin.

Bailey stands tied for fourth with Brian Rowell and Blake Pugh for fourth place at 6-under 210 for the four-day tournament, which concludes today at Crown Colony Country Club. Lamar graduate M.J. Daffue and Sam Stevens are tied for the lead at 12-under 204.

Bailey’s eagle on the par-5 16th brought him back to par for the round. He stayed on par through the 17th and 18th holes but shot the back nine at a 2-under clip, having bogeyed on the par-4 10th and birdied the par-5 13th.

Bailey turned in a 70 in the first round and shot 68 in the second to move into second place, just behind Stevens. Bailey stayed on par through his first three rounds before bogeying both the par-3 fourth and par-4 fifth.

Daffue, the 2011 Southland Conference player of the year from South Africa, shot the hottest round Thursday at 7-under 65. The Kingwood resident, who has spent some time on the Korn Ferry Tour, was a stroke behind Bailey going into Thursday.

Daffue played bogey-free and birdied seven times in the third round. It was a rebound from a round marked with three bogeys and one double bogey at No. 16.
Stevens, of Fort Worth, turned in his third straight round of 68.

The All-Pro Tour conducts tournaments in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas, according to its website, and hosts golfers looking to earn their PGA Tour or Korn Ferry Tour cards. Bailey, who could not be immediately reached for comment, recently completed his collegiate career at Baylor, where he earned two All-America honors.

He most recently tied for third in his first APT appearance at the Taco Bell Natchez (Mississippi) Classic. Bailey plans to play at a Korn Ferry Tour qualifying school in late September.

The final round in Lufkin begins at 8 a.m. Friday. At stake is a $20,000 first-place prize.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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