HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Harrison Endycott, a 25-year-old Australian in his 43rd career Korn Ferry Tour start, took the first outright lead of his career following a bogey-free 6-under 64 in the third round of the Huntsville Championship. Endycott reached 16-under par for the week and ended Saturday with a five-stroke lead, the largest 54-hole advantage at a Korn Ferry Tour event since the Dormie Network Classic at Briggs Ranch in April 2019.
Through the first nine events this season, no player led by more than one stroke after 54 holes. And through the first nine events of the season, no player who has led or co-led after 18, 36, or 54 holes went on to win the tournament.
Endycott’s 16-under 194 through 54 holes at The Ledges also matched Chase Parker’s 19-under 194 from the Veritex Bank Championship for the lowest 54-hole score this season.
“I’ve still a lot a lot of hard work to play tomorrow,” Endycott said. “Guys out here are really good. I’m expecting someone to shoot a low one again tomorrow. I’m prepared for that, and I just want to get some sleep, have an easy night tonight, and try to get out and do my best again tomorrow, see what happens. “
Endycott played out of the final pairing Saturday and began the round one shot behind 36-hole leader Erik Barnes. The Sydney, Australia native birdied all three par 5s (Nos. 4, 8, 10) and added three others at the par-4 seventh, 12th, and 15th. Those six birdies increased Endycott’s total birdies this week to 17 (16 birdies, one eagle), tied for the most in the field.
More importantly, Endycott only has two bogeys through the first 54 holes, two fewer over-par holes than any player in the field this week.
“It was more just trying to hit fairways and greens. That was all I focused on today, ”said Endycott, who hit 12 of 13 fairways, along with 16 of 18 greens in regulation Saturday. “I thought, you know what? My putting feels really good. If I can just give myself looks all day, I’m going to shoot a good score. “
Endycott turned professional and debuted as a 21-year-old at the 2017 New South Wales Open on PGA Tour of Australasia. After he spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Endycott earned Korn Ferry Tour membership and finished T41 at Final Stage of the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament.
“In Australia, it’s very challenging to play this tour and live there, so you make the career change and you pack up stuff and go and play overseas,” Endycott said. “That’s what I intended to do since I was a small kid. Regardless of where I end up in my career or whatever, I’m doing something that I’ve always said I wanted to do. I proved a lot of high school teachers wrong, which is fantastic. “
As a rookie last season, Endycott logged three top-10s and six top-25s, including a career-high finish of T4 at the 2021 Visit Knoxville Open. Endycott struggled down the stretch, however, missing cuts in his final 10 starts and ultimately finishing 81st on the 2020-21 Regular Season Points List, which bounced him back to Final Stage of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament.
Endycott recorded a top-25 in the season-opening 2022 The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay, but has not finished higher than T32 his other five starts. Those results left him No. 103 on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points List ahead of this week’s event.
“I felt like I played close to how I played this week nearly every week,” Endycott said. “I think there is probably two weeks out there where I didn’t play that well. It was very hard to be optimistic about that because you got to focus on the process, but results kind of kick you in the face a little bit. You feel like you’re doing the process really well and just the results aren’t happening, it’s frustrating. That’s just part of the grind. “
In a March 2021 interview with PGATOUR.com, Endycott said a bucket list item is, “to get on the PGA TOUR and be a TOUR winner. What motivates me is simply the TOUR. “
With a win Sunday, one of those bucket list items could become a reality before long.
Ben Taylor, who moved to solo second at 11-under par as he matched Endycott and Spencer Ralston for the lowest round of the day with a 6-under 64, will also play in the final group. Quade Cummins, six strokes off the lead in solo third, will round out the final group with Enydcott and Taylor.
Final-round tee times will run from 8:30 am through 10:42 am local time off the first and 10th tees.