The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 15, 2013

Shawn Jasper claims one-shot lead in Casinos Classic

By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer

MIAMI, Okla. — Shawn Jasper hasn’t been bothered by the gusty winds competitors have endured over 54 holes at Peoria Ridge Golf Course.

“I don’t mind playing in the wind,” said Jasper, who is from Marthasville, Mo. “Growing up here in the Midwest, you’ve played in it your whole life. Just keep it out of the tall stuff, and you can attack this golf course.”

Jasper holds a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the $100,000 Buffalo Run-Prairie Moon Casinos Classic. The former All-American at Missouri shot a 4-under 68 on Friday to improve to 14-under in the Adams Golf Pro Tour Series tournament. The final round is scheduled for today.

He recorded five birdies and one bogey on Friday.

“I had very solid ball striking today,” Jasper said. “My putter didn’t cooperate as well today, so it could have been a lot lower. But 68 is always a good score.

“I definitely could have had a lot more birdies. But hopefully I just keep giving myself looks and the putter will heat up again tomorrow.”

Jasper was in second place with scores of 68-66 in the first two rounds, but Gregor Main fell out of the lead by shooting a 2-over 74 on Friday. Main, who posted scores of 68-65 in the first two rounds, registered four bogeys Friday to drop into a tie for fifth place at 9-under.

Rika Batibasaga, of Australia, shot 5-under Friday to move within a stroke of the lead at 13-under for the tournament.

He posted five birdies and an eagle with only two bogeys on Friday. Batibasaga has rounds of 65-67 the past two days after shooting a 71 in 30 mph winds on Wednesday.

“On Wednesday, it was blowing a hurricane,” Batibasaga said. “It was so windy out here. It was unbelievable. But the last two days have been beautiful ... The greens have been perfect.”

Batibasaga’s had an eagle on the par-5 No. 8 but said he was more pleased by his consistency.

“I felt good the whole day,” he said. “I felt like I was swinging it well. I just want to give myself opportunities. I just want to stay in the rhythm and enjoy it.”

Mark Walker, of Hurst, Texas, is in third at 12-under after posting a 68 on Friday.

Chad Ginn, John Kimbell and Lance Lopez tied for the best score of the day by turning in 65s. Ginn is fourth overall at 11-under. Kimbell is tied for fifth at 9-under with Main, Ryan Baca, Kevin Penner and Sam Powell. Lopez is tied for 13th at 7-under.

“I’ve got a one-stroke lead,” Jasper said. “That’s always a good spot going into the final round. But with this golf course and the guys who are chasing me, there’s a low-60 round out there somewhere. I got to keep the pedal down and see what happens.”