After two rounds in the 29th annual Kiwanis Columbia Championship Golf Tournament, Dave McDonald is looking to do something he has never done.
McDonald, 36, could win the 54-hole tournament for the first time.
“If I hit it solid, I think I have a good chance,” he said. “I’m going to keep swinging away at it.”
McDonald (142) moved into the lead in the tournament Saturday after shooting birdies on holes 16-18 at Lake of the Woods Golf Course to finish with a 1-over-par 72. The score tied him with Tom Overkamp for the best round of the day.
After shooting 76 at Lake of the Woods, Dee Sanders is two strokes behind McDonald. Overkamp (146) is in third.
Sanders, 47, shot 68 and led Ryan Schultz by one stroke after the first round Friday at A. L. Gustin. Schultz shot 78 on Saturday and is tied with David Kramer and Dave Teel for fourth at 147.
The final round of the tournament is today at Columbia Country Club.
Three times in the past six years, McDonald has finished in the top three. He was second to Sanders in 1997.
Sanders, who has played in the tournament since 1979 and is looking for his 10th championship, owns nearly every tournament record.
Sanders has won with the lowest score (7-under), highest score (5-over), widest margin of victory (10 strokes) and has finished in the top 10 16 times.
McDonald said he wasn’t sure how well he would finish while he was playing.
“I felt good about it after I finished,” McDonald said.
“The biggest thing is we all struggled. It just seemed like none of us could get something going.”
McDonald played with Sanders and Schultz, who has finished second three times in the past five tournaments but never won.
“I played with two enjoyable guys,” McDonald said.
“That’s what kept it going for me, knowing we’re having a good time, we’re all struggling and we just couldn’t get anything to go in the hole basically.”
Sanders said he didn’t hit a green after the third hole.
“I didn’t play very well,” he said. “I really didn’t have anything. I didn’t hit it very well. I didn’t putt particularly well. It was just one of those days it didn’t feel right.
“If there would be one key to playing well (today) for me I think that would be it. I’ve got to figure out a way to hit the fairway because I didn’t (Saturday) at all.”
Sanders said if he plays today like he did Saturday he would have no chance at winning.
“If I drive it in the fairway, I’ll be competitive,” he said. “If I don’t, there’s no hope.”
To Sanders’ credit, everyone seemed to struggle with the course Saturday. No golfer shot under par.
McDonald said the greens were the toughest part of the course.
“The speed of the greens was a lot quicker than I think most of us play,” he said. “You get in the wrong spots on them and it makes it difficult, you can’t be aggressive.”
Sanders also said the faster greens were a factor.
“The greens were spectacular,” he said. “They were a little bit faster, I think, than most of us are accustomed to playing, but we should have been able to adjust.”
Sanders said that’s part of the tournament.
“That’s part of playing three courses, is being able to adjust to the different conditions,” he said, “and David did it real well. He started off playing like the rest of us, but he played really well the last nine holes.”
Said McDonald: “It’s golf.”
The tournament, dedicated to promoting amateur golf in the Columbia community, often features high school golfers from Hickman and Rock Bridge.
Hickman golfer Josh Brady shot a 6-over-77. His score, 148, puts him in a tie for sixth.