South Aiken sophomore Miles Eubanks wasn't ready to get ahead of himself after posting an opening-round 68 on Friday in the Southern Cross at Palmetto Golf Club.
Sure, it was a great score on a windy day at a difficult golf course, but it was still early in the day – and, as he put it, for all he knew there could be players out there shooting 62.
None of them did, and his round of 3 under has him in a three-way tie with Trinity Collegiate's Gene Zeigler and Boiling Springs' Andrew Gregory heading into Saturday's final round.
Eubanks navigated Palmetto's difficult early holes, playing the first seven in even-par, then made four birdies on the back nine and for much of the day had the only score under par.
"I made about every single putt – just kidding, but I putted pretty good," he said. "This is my home course, so I know the greens pretty well. I just stayed calm and steady."
He was even at the turn before a birdie spree that began at the par-5 10th. He gave a shot back with a bogey on 11, but made birdies on 12, 13 and 14 to get to 3 under for the day. He made some crucial par saves down the stretch to put himself in the lead.
"I was just trying to stay focused," he said. "I knew I could make some birdies. I just had to stay locked in. That's about it."
Zeigler, a University of South Carolina signee, made five birdies for a 68 that matched his first-round score from two years ago in his first round at Palmetto. Gregory joined the duo after a rollercoaster round that included an eagle, six birdies and five bogeys.
His Boiling Springs teammate Zach Phillips, younger brother of two-time Southern Cross and Palmetto Amateur champ Trent, and Bishop England's Luke Walmet are two shots back at 1-under 70.
A.C. Flora's Luke Sullivan, Christ Church's Jack Wofford and Hilton Head Christian's Max Green are three back at even.
Boiling Springs, Southern Cross champions in 2018, leads a crowded team competition at 4-over 217. Trinity Collegiate is a shot back, and Christ Church is two back. A.C. Flora is six back at 10 over, and Lancaster rounds out the top five at 11 over.
Eubanks' low round has South Aiken tied for eighth at 17-over 230. The T-Breds also counted a pair of 81s from Cameron Biddle and Colson McNulty.
North Augusta is 18th at 241. Matthew Baxley led the Yellow Jackets with a 3-over 74, which has him tied for 17th individually. Brenden Tigert shot 82, and Davis Neal added an 85.
Fox Creek is a spot behind North Augusta at 244. Jayden Carroll's 78 leads the Predators, and they counted an 81 from Grant Riley and an 85 from Braedon Murphy.
Aiken is 21st at 270. Richard Anaclerio shot a team-best 83, and the Hornets counted a 91 from Zion Sampson and a 96 from Luke Hanna.
The tournament wraps up Saturday, with tee times starting at 7:30 a.m. and running until 12:50 p.m.