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Christopher Petefish snags 54-hole lead at The Panama Championship

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Daily Wrap Up

    Written by Staff @PGATOUR

    Things to Know

    Second-year Korn Ferry Tour member Christopher Petefish snags his first career 54-hole lead following a 3-under 67, tied for the low round of the day

    32-year-old Aussie Brett Drewitt sits solo second and is in search of his second top-five finish in the first three events of the season

    Fresh off a T3 finish last week, Matt McCarty sits T3 after 54 holes and is the only player this week to score even-par or better in each of the first three rounds

    Entering Sunday’s final round, 14 players are within three shots of the lead

    Only 16 players carded rounds of 1-under or better Saturday, as the average score was 72.041 (+2.041 strokes over par)

    Charting the Leader (stats entering the week)

    CategoryChristopher Petefish
    Age27 (May 31, 1995)
    2022 Korn Ferry Tour Points ListNo. 90
    Starts -- wins -- top-10s in Korn Ferry Tour (Career)18-0-1
    Starts -- wins -- top-10s in Korn Ferry Tour (2023)0-0-0
    Starts -- wins -- top-10s at The Panama Championship0-0-0

    Christopher Petefish (Leader / -4)

    In his first start of the 2023 season, the 27-year-old holds his first career 54-hole lead

    Marks the second lead of any kind in his career as he held the 36-hole solo lead at the 2022 NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank where he eventually finished T3

    Carded a third-round 3-under 67, consisting of three birdies, two bogeys and an eagle at the par-5 fourth

    Sat in solo second after 18 holes following a first-round 5-under 65, before falling to T15 after a 4-over 74 in the second round

    Originally the fourth alternate at deadline, Petefish got into the field following Ryan Blaum’s W/D on Monday; Petefish is playing out of the Finishers 76-100 on 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Points List / Additional Qualifying Tournament Finalist category

    In his second season on the Korn Ferry Tour; began the 2022 season with conditional status after a T91 at Final Stage of the 2021 Qualifying Tournament

    Only played in one of the first nine events last season; climbed the priority ranking via reshuffles during the midpoint of the season and finished the year with three top-25 finishes in 14 starts, highlighted by the aforementioned NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank

    Finished the 2022 season No. 90 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List

    Played PGA TOUR Canada from 2018-21, making 17 starts over the four-year span and logging five top-25s, with his best finish being a T5 at the 2019 ATB Financial Classic

    Turned professional in 2018 out of Georgia Tech, where he was a two-time All-America Scholar and All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection as a senior; helped Georgia Tech capture the team title at the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship


    Christopher Petefish on holding the lead after 54 holes: “Honestly, just feels good to survive. It's such a tough test that anything under par is a pretty great round.”

    Petefish on the course challenging players: “Greens are getting firmer, it's tough to get it close. It's just a lot harder to make birdies and make easy bogeys out there. It's just getting firmer, it's windier, it's hot. Just everything being so tough, you've just got to hit a lot of quality shots to just make par let alone birdie, so it's good.”

    Petefish on playing a course of this difficulty in his first start of the season: “It's definitely a rude awakening to start the year on something this tough, but it was good to kind of see where the game's been the last three days. And obviously there's a bunch of people in the mix and it's so difficult. But, you know, got 18 more holes.”


    Brett Drewitt (2nd / -4), who is making his sixth appearance at The Panama Championship and 153rd Korn Ferry Tour start, carded a 2-under 68 Friday to climb to solo second, his best position after 54 holes in a Korn Ferry Tour start

    The 32-year-old Aussie sits No. 12 on the Points List, powered by a T4 finish at the season-opening event, The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay

    In his Korn Ferry Tour career, Drewitt has logged 14 top-10 finishes, including one victory at the 2020 Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS

    Joe Highsmith (T3 / -3) is in his fourth career Korn Ferry Tour start this week and enters the final round inside the top 10 for the first time

    Highsmith is in his rookie season on the Korn Ferry Tour, gaining status via a T24 finish at Q-school last Fall; the 22-year-old Lakewood, Washington native placed T12 at last week’s The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club

    Matt McCarty (T3 / -2), who placed T3 at last week’s The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club, enters the final round inside the top five for the first time of his career

    McCarty is in his second season on the Korn Ferry Tour; in 25 starts during the 2022 season, he tallied four top-25 finishes, including two top 10s, highlighted by a T5 at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open

    Mac Meissner (T5 / -1) entered the day T2 but fell to T5 following a third-round 3-over 73; he sits inside the top five for the third time of his career and first since last year’s Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank where he placed T10

    Highsmith, Petefish and Cristobal Del Solar (T15 / E) posted the low rounds of the day with 3-under 67s

    Abel Gallegos (T34 / +2), the outright 36-hole leader, carded a 7-over 77 in the third round and fell to T34; Gallegos played the back nine Saturday at even par, after posting a 42 on the front that consisted of a quadruple bogey, double bogey, two bogeys and one birdie

    In his rookie season on the Korn Ferry Tour, the young Argentine earned status by placing T17 at the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament; he has a decorated amateur career including titles at the 2021 Azalea Invitational, the aforementioned 2020 Latin America Amateur and the 2019 Menores Argentina Championship; the youngest 2023 Korn Ferry Tour member, Gallegos turned 21 years old Thursday

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