(Story by John Boyette)

There was plenty of movement on the leaderboard Friday at the 44th Palmetto Amateur. But at the end of the day, Morgan Deneen remained on top heading into Saturday’s final round at Palmetto Golf Club. Deneen, who plays at Coastal Carolina University, shot even-par 71 and saw his lead increase to three shots with a 54-hole total of 9-under-par 204. Deneen began the day with bogeys on two of his first three holes, but bounced back with three birdies against one bogey the rest of the way.

First-round leader and N.C. State golfer Christian Salzer (69), Florida’s Eugene Hong (69) and Florida State’s Greyson Porter (72) are all tied for second at 6-under.

Deneen and Porter were tied at 9-under for the tournament heading to the par-3 16th, but Porter carded a triple-bogey six to fall back.

Four golfers are tied for fifth at 5-under, and former USC Aiken golfer Johnson Holliday is tied for ninth at 4-under.

Evan Brown of Chadds Ford, Pa., had the round of the tournament Friday with 11 birdies. The Loyola (Md.) University golfer birdied the first six holes on his way to 9-under-par 62. Brown also birdied the 8th at Palmetto before bogeying the ninth to make the turn in 29. On the incoming nine, he made birdies at Nos. 11, 12, 15 and 18, with just a bogey at No. 17, to cap off his round of 62. That moved him all the way to 3-under for the tournament.

A total of 42 golfers made the 54-hole cut, which came at 6-over.

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