Berner, Clark and Brand will play in the last threesome of today's final round, teeing off at about 10:51 a.m. Clark and Brand will try to fix what derailed promising rounds Thursday.
Brand followed his first-round 66 with a 1-under 70, giving up a few strokes on the front nine and finishing stronger on the back. But he bemoaned his 34 putts.
"It was frustrating. I hit all my lines today and I hit a lot of quality putts; they just did not go in," Brand said. "Some days you're going to have that, but you have to be patient, grind it out and try to put up a good-enough score."
Clark's triple bogey on No. 3 had him muttering about the dark side of sand for several holes. He hit in a bunker and blew two shots trying to get out.
"I've been in two bunkers in two days, and I'm 5 over," he said. "I haven't found one I can get out of yet."
Those aren't the only three with a shot. Lurking behind them is six-time champion David Bradshaw, who rejuvenated his tournament with a 67. He is three shots back at 5 under.
Beginning on No. 10 in the morning shift, Bradshaw had four birdies and 14 pars. Unlike his first round Wednesday, he birdied two par-5s.
But he wasn't satisfied with his round, either.
"I'm hitting the ball so good, it's actually frustrating to shoot these scores," Bradshaw said. "You'd think I'd be happy, but I haven't made a putt over 7 feet in two days. ... If it's any indication, I'm as many under on par-3s as I am on par-5s, and I can reach every single one of them in two."
Sitting two shots behind Bradshaw at 3 under is a scramble for low amateur involving Hurricane residents Brian Anania and Sam O'Dell, Concord assistant golf coach Darcy Donaldson and Todd Westfall of Clendenin. Local pro and four-time champion Scott Davis is the other player under par, at 1-under 141.
As he was about to sleep on his lead, Berner vowed that he won't go conservative today, and will still try to make as many birdies as he can. And if he can get another fortunate bounce, so be it.
"When those things happen, you've got to take advantage," Berner said. "It wasn't that bad a shot, it was just a little bit to the right of where I was aiming. On a couple of other holes, I hit it right where I was aiming, but it stayed in the rough.
"The way I look at it, it was kind of a make-up."
Reach Doug Smock 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com.