Lucky number?

Saad cards fifth straight 72 at Colorado West Amateur

Keith Humerickhouse watches the flight of his drive Saturday on the 11th hole during the second round of the Colorado West Amateur at Bookcliff Country Club. Humerickhouse shot a 1-under-par 70 and leads by seven.



Joey Saad chips onto the 15th green Saturday on his way to shooting a 1-over-par 72 at the Colorado West Amateur.



Joey Saad has been carding 72s at the Colorado West Amateur golf tournament as if he owns the copyright to the number.

In addition to carding 1-over-par 72 in each of the first two rounds of the three-day tournament at Bookcliff Country Club, he shot 72 in all three rounds at the tournament a year ago.

Consistency in golf usually is a good thing, but Saad would love to deviate from the norm, provided it’s in the right direction. Saad, a Fruita Monument High School alum who plays at Dominican University in San Rafael, California, would like to go south of that number in today’s third and final round and make a push for the championship.

His 2-over 144 put him in second place, seven shots behind leader Keith Humerickhouse. Kolton Kyne is tied for third at 145 with Jeb Savage, a competitor from the first flight. Matt Hall and Chris Aiken are tied for fifth at 146.

“I’m hoping I can bring her low tomorrow,” said Saad, who placed fourth at last year’s Colorado West Amateur. “I feel like I’m right on the cusp.”

Saad said he mentioned “on the cusp” to Montrose High School boys golf coach Angelo DeJulio, and DeJulio told him, “That’s when golf gets really fun.”

Breakthrough or no breakthrough, Saad said, “It’s going to be fun. The game’s feeling good.”

He will play in the final group for the second year in a row, and he goes in believing a seven-stroke deficit can be overcome.

“It’s possible,” he said. “If he shoots a bad round and I have good round ...

“It’s day by day, and you just have to take what the course gives you. You’re not playing the other competitors, you’re playing the course. ... Make it as simple as possible. That’s really the name of the game.”

Saad and Humerickhouse must have read the same book, because Humerickhouse’s words about approach to today’s final round echoed Saad’s: “You don’t play against the others, you play against the course.”

Humerickhouse wasn’t thrilled with the 1-under 70 he carded in the second round, which was three strokes higher than his first-round score. But he was the only golfer in the championship flight to shoot under par Saturday, and Colorado Mesa’s Kyler Smith was the only other member of the flight to shoot even par on the day.

So, Humerickhouse extended his lead from three strokes to seven.

“It was a grind all day,” Humerickhouse said. “I think I got it to 2-under at one point, but I only made three birdies all day and two bogeys. I hit a bunch of greens. I just didn’t putt very well.

“I’m not disappointed. Any time you’re under par, it’s a good thing. But I was hitting the ball really well, and I just feel like I should have been 6- or 7-under.”

Humerickhouse said his sizable lead is nothing to get comfortable with, nor does it warrant trying to play it safe today to protect it.

“If you’re guarding against anything, then you’re scared,” Humerickhouse said. “I’m going to play the way I always play. ... Be aggressive when you can and lay back when you have to.”

He added, “Anybody within five or six shots of the lead can win it. ... Any time, on this golf course, if they’re wedging it good and putting well, you can shoot a low number.”

Flight leaders

The first flight had one round Saturday that was par or better, Savage’s 70, which put him in the first-flight lead by two strokes at 145. J.P. Whitacre is in second place and Jim Saad and Zane Sauer are tied for third at 151.

First-flight competitors play from the black tees, just like the championship flight, meaning they can contend for the overall title. Flights 2 through 5 play from the white tees and can’t win the overall title.

■ In the second flight, Dacre Williams shot a 3-under 68 in the second round, giving him a 139 and an eight-stroke lead in his flight entering the final round.

■ Dave Armbruster’s 153 leads John Hoppe by one stroke after two rounds in the third flight.

■ Robert Rowlands at 163 has a one-stroke lead over Tom Wattier in the fourth flight.

■ Nick Gower’s 166 leads the fifth flight by five strokes over Greg Foster.


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