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Broadaway falls to fifth place heading into final round

Josh Broadaway

Josh Broadaway

MAINEVILLE, Ohio -- Josh Broadaway eyed a 15-foot putt on No. 18 during Saturday's third round of the Nationwide Tour's Chiquita Classic at the TPC River's Bend in Cincinnati, and out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of the leaderboard.

"I looked at the board and saw I was four back, so I knew to have a little better chance (today) I needed to hole that putt, and I did," Broadaway said via telephone Saturday night in an interview with The Herald. "That gave me a lot of momentum."

And -- for the most part -- that's just how Broadaway's tournament has been going, hitting one clutch shot after another.

Broadaway, an Albany native who graduated from Byne Christian and played golf at Troy University, finished his third round with a 2-under 70 and fell from alone in first place to fifth place heading into the final day of the tournament.

Broadaway, who entered Saturday's round with a two-shot lead over Matt Every and Billy Hurley III, is now three shots off the lead and is looking for his first-ever Nationwide win in the six years he has played on the tour.

He held on to that lead for much of the third round until back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16 sent him falling down the ever-changing leaderboard. He finished his round with a birdie on No. 18, but it wasn't enough to keep four players -- including new leader Russell Knox from Scotland and his third-round 63 -- from passing him.

"I was wishing I could have played a little better," said Broadaway, who is 16-under after 54 holes. "There are a few guys between me and the leader, and obviously there will be some low scores shot. I would think that I would probably have to get to 23 or 24 (under par) to have chance. So it will take seven or eight under (today). (Today) the pins are a little tougher, so it could be a little more difficult to shoot low."

Broadaway had just three bogeys and an eye-popping 17 birdies in his first two rounds and had gotten off to quick starts in each of the first two days, firing front-nine scores of 32 on Thursday and 31 on Friday. But he struggled early in Saturday's round, bogeying No. 2 and not recording his first birdie until the par 3 fifth.

"I was a little nervous early," he said. "I hit two good shots on No. 1 but didn't make a putt. And then I hit two good shots on holes three and four, but I just couldn't hole any putts. I was just kind of slow getting going."

Despite his struggles, Broadaway still found himself clinging to a tie for the lead with Knox, who birdied six of his first 10 holes and finished the day with nine birdies and no bogeys, as he moved to the back nine.

Broadaway birdied No. 11 to regain the outright lead before carding two bogeys and just one birdie the rest of the round.

"It's just Saturday. No matter where you are at the end of (Saturday), it doesn't matter. They aren't going to pay us (Saturday)," he said. "I will probably keep an eye on the leaderboard (Sunday)."

Broadaway, who tees off at 10:45 a.m. today on No. 1 along with Greg Owen and Every, has struggled in his five Nationwide events this year, though he has made the cut in the last three tournaments. He has racked up just over $6,000 in winnings this year on the Nationwide Tour, and his best finish was in late June at the Mexico Open, where he shot 1-under to tie for 50th place.

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NOTES: Broadaway is ranked No. 1 in birdies the Chiquita Classic with 22 throughout the first three rounds. ... First-round leader Andrew Bucker, who shot a 63 on Friday, has fallen all the way to 14th place after firing a 75 on Friday and a 66 on Saturday. ... Corey Nagy, a 22-year-old from Charlotte, had the first hole-in-one in the tournament's two year history with an ace on No. 7 with a pitching wedge from 146 yards out.