Potomac, MD – Josh Persons carded a 1-under 69 on Saturday to take a 1-shot lead after three rounds of Neediest Kids Championship.
Persons, a Monday qualifier, completed 54 holes at 8-under-par 202. He will go for his first tour win on Sunday at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.
Tom Hoge also had a 69 on Saturday, and he moved into second place at minus-7. Casey Wittenberg posted a 2-under 68 to climb into third at 6-under-par 204.
Chris Wilson (67), Philip Pettitt, Jr. (68), Will Wilcox (69) and Alistair Presnell (70) are tied for fourth at minus-5.
Second-round leader David Lingmerth faltered to a 4-over 74 to slide into a share of eighth at 4-under-par 206.
Persons, who grew up in Fargo and played junior golf with Hoge, flew out of the gate with a quick start. He birdied the par-5 second and followed with birdies on the third and fourth. As he parred the next five holes, Persons moved into the lead at 10-under as Lingmerth struggled.
"I hit three shots pretty close to the hole. After that, the conditions changed completely," Persons explained. "The wind was in the opposite direction."
Persons tripped to a bogey on the par-5 10th. He coughed up another stroke on the 15th to slip to minus-8. Persons parred the final three holes end alone in the lead.
"It's a lot like spring in Fargo, except we're playing a lot tougher golf course. It was brutal today. This course is tough enough as it is," Persons stated.
Hoge had one birdie and 11 pars through 12 holes. He then wrapped bogeys at 13 and 15 around an eagle on the par-4 14th. Hoge closed with three straight pars.
"When we played high school golf in April or May, we had a lot of days when it was 40 degrees and 30 mile an hour wind, but not as difficult a golf course as this," Persons admitted. "We're both comfortable playing in this."
Lingmerth birdied the second and fourth to move into the lead at 10-under. His round came apart quickly from there.
The Swede bogeyed the fifth, then double-bogeyed the par-4 sixth. After dropping another stroke on the seventh, Lingmerth stopped the bleeding with a birdie on the ninth.
Lingmerth gave that shot right back with a bogey on the ninth. Around the turn, he posted seven pars and two bogeys to slide four shots off the lead.
NOTES: Persons is making just his second Web.com Tour start...With bad weather in the forecast for Sunday, players will go off in threesomes from the first and 10th tees starting at 7:49 a.m. ET...Only 11 of the 67 players that made the cut broke par on Saturday.