GREENSBORO, N.C. - Matthew NeSmith of North Augusta, S.C., improved his lead to four strokes in the third round of the FJ Invitational, scoring 1-under-par 69 to tally a tournament total of 206. The leaderboard stayed consistent as Motin Yeung and Michael Pisciotta remained in the top three.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the FJ Invitational is a 72-hole stroke play competition played on the par-70, 6,909-yard Cardinal Golf & Country Club. The 84-player field features boys from 21 states and 9 foreign countries. For the fifth consecutive year, the winner of the FJ Invitational will receive a sponsor's exemption into the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship in August. Following the third round the field was cut to the top-50 and ties.
NeSmith shot 1-under-par 34 on the front nine and carded a birdie on No. 3. He recorded an even-par 35 on the back nine with birdies on No. 11 and 15 to end the round at 1-under-par 69. The 18-year-old feels confident heading into the final round on Friday.
"I feel really good, if I can just play the way I've been playing," NeSmith said. "Plotting my way around, picking my spots to be aggressive and making some putts like I've been doing, I should be good to go."
The stakes of this tournament are high with an exemption into the Wyndham Championship on the line. NeSmith, who stands No. 2 in the Polo Golf Rankings, has been motivated by this factor all year.
"It was one of my goals early this year to play in a pro event and you can do that two ways: you can win Rolex Player of the Year or you can win FootJoy," NeSmith said. "I still have two chances to do that this year. It's very motivating."
Motin Yeung of Orlando, Fla., is in second at even-par 210 after shooting an even-par 70 in the third round. Michael Pisciotta of Alpharetta, Ga., is in third at 1-over-par 211 with a third-round score of 1-over-par 71.
Final-round tee times will run from 7-9:40 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at Cardinal Golf & Country Club. For more information about the FJ Invitational, please contact Tournament Headquarters at 678-644-4258.