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June 19 2011

4:36 PM

Low amateur race a tight one

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

BETHESDA, Md. -- It may not be as compelling as the battle at the top of the leaderboard, but there's a close race for low amateur honors at the U.S. Open.

And given the youth movement in golf right now, you would be wise to pay close attention to these players. Who knows? You may be seeing them at a PGA TOUR event somewhere soon.

Patrick Cantlay, who just completed his freshman season -- yes, that's freshman season -- at UCLA, currently heads the group. Cantlay, who won the Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation's top collegian, shot 70 on Saturday and is 1 under for 54 holes.

Russell Henley, who was the co-low amateur last year at Pebble Beach, is one shot back at even par after a 71 in the third round. Henley, who just completed his eligibility at Georgia, actually won a Nationwide Tour event on his home course earlier this year. He opted to remain an amateur, though, in hopes of matching the Walker Cup team.

The third amateur, Brad Benjamin, had rough day on Saturday and shot 80. The 24-year-old Benjamin played collegiately at Memphis and won the U.S. Amateur Public Links in 2009.

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