Friday was a wild day of golf at windswept Bent Creek Country Club, and almost no one was completely immune.
Not even Corey Wenger, whose round of 72 was good for a one-shot lead in the RBC Wealth Management Lanco Amateur Championship.
Wenger, 31, the golf coach at Lancaster Mennonite High School, had five birdies, four bogies and a double - plus a 15-foot par saving putt after nearly driving the green, but catching an awful lie in the lip of a greenside bunker, on the short par-4 seventh.
That qualified as routine stuff on this day. Critically, Wenger kept his ball inside the out-of-bounds stakes.
“That’s one thing I was pleased about,’’ he said. “It was kind of rare today.’’
Wenger heads into Saturday’s final round with a one-shot lead over defending champ Connor Sheehan and Matthew Burkhart, an ex-teammate of Wenger’s at Messiah College.
Trevor Pope, like Sheehan an ex-Millersville University golfer, is another shot back at 74. Three-time Lanco Am champ Jarred Texter posted a 75 with - more on this in a minute - an adventure for the ages.
Eleven players are within five shots of the lead.
Bent Creek is a unique tournament test. It’s not overly long, the par-5s and a couple par-4s are reachable in less than regulation, and the greens are consistently pristine. There are always birdies out there for good players.
But it’s the rare layout with out-of-bounds on all 18 holes. It can be dangerous even in benign conditions. When the wind howls as it did Friday, strangeness ensues.
Everybody, it seemed, had a story.
Burkhart, a Lancaster Mennonite grad who won three Middle Atlantic Conference titles are Messiah from 2010-13, hit only eight greens in regulation Friday. Still, he was even-par for the day before hitting his second shot out of bounds on the par-5 18th.
“It was a hybrid,’’ he said. “I got a mud ball, and it just shot out to the right.’’
Pope’s 74 included two double-bogeys. Derek McCarty, in the hunt with a scrambling 76, hit it OB on 17. Conor Gilbert, also at 76, triple-bogeyed the 11th and bogeyed 15, 17 and 18.
Greg Osborne was even par for the day, with birdie chances figuring to come on 17 and 18. He played the last three holes in 18 shots, six over par, for a 77.
Texter set the standard. His first shot of the day was a drive out-of-bounds at the par-4 first. He followed that double-bogey with a hole-in-one at the par-3 second.
Then he bogeyed the third. And the fifth. Then came birdies at seven, nine, 11 and 12. At the 14th, the wind screaming, he hit one tee shot out-of-bounds left with a driver, and then a second, with a 3-wood, OB to the right, apparently due to a bad bounce off a cart path, leading to a nine.
Then he bogeyed 15, a brutal par-3 into the wind, and hit another tee shot OB at 16.
For his final act, Texter birdied 17 and 18, making a 40-footer on the former.
If you’re scoring, that’s six birdies, a hole-in-one/eagle, three bogeys, two double-bogeys and a quintuple bogey, 75.
And it would surprise no one if Texter shot 65, or even less, today.
“(Out-of-bounds) is one of this course’s defenses,’’ he said. “It is a little bit of a shock to the system, though. I did a lot of good things.’’
Wenger, Burkhart and Sheehan will play in Saturday’s final threesome at 1:36 p.m. Pope, Texter and McCarty are at 1:27 p.m.