FREDERICKSBURG – Caleb Hicks from Arlington is 18 holes away from capturing the biggest amateur title in his young career. The 20-year-old UT Arlington junior battled difficult conditions on Saturday and carded and even-par 71 in the third round of the 111th Texas Amateur. Hicks leads by two shots headed into Sunday’s final round at Boot Ranch Golf Club.

Moving day at this year’s Texas Amateur was defined by swirling winds, firm and fast greens and a player’s ability to manage their fatigue. The Hal Sutton-designed championship golf course stretches across rugged Texas Hill Country landscape highlighted by dramatic elevation changes. Including Wednesday’s practice round, Hicks, as well as the 56 other players who made the 36-hole cut, walked their fourth round of golf this week. The 54-hole leader said Round 3 was about staying patient.

“It was a tough one today,” Hicks said. “Greens were getting crispy and firm and hard and fast. You had to golf your ball to shoot a low number today.”

Hicks carded three birdies and three bogeys to remain at 5-under overall. He was the only player in the final two groups to post a round at even par or better. After taking a break from golf during the quarantine, Hicks has approached this week with a relaxed attitude. He’ll begin the final round with a two-shot lead in the state’s oldest and most prestigious amateur championship.

“I’m just going to go hang out with the guys and try not to think about it,” Hicks said. “I’ll show up to my tee time and hit that tee ball.”

Trey Bosco of Austin made the biggest move on Saturday. The 2020 Baylor University commit began the day T17 and eight shots off the lead. He carded birdies on the par-3 second, par-5 third and par-4 ninth en route to a 3-under 32 on his opening nine. He closed with a birdie on the par-4 18th to card a 4-under 67, the second lowest round of the day. Bosco will join Hicks and Andres Acevedo in Sunday’s final group.

Acevedo, who is playing in his first Texas Amateur, played alongside Mark Reppe of Dallas and the 36-hole leader Chris Wheeler of Addison. Throughout their third round, all three players struggled. The wind steadily picked up throughout the afternoon making Boot Ranch more and more difficult. Acevedo finished 3-over par on his round and is tied second.

“I wasn’t putting it as solid and ball striking was a little off,” Acevedo said. “I held it together for most of it.”

Acevedo’s 74 was the low-round in his group. Reppe carded a 4-over 75, while Wheeler signed for a 6-over 77. Despite giving back a few strokes, Acevedo says he was pleased overall with his fight.

“I was pretty happy with the way I grinded,” Acevedo said. “I haven’t been in contention in a while so it’s nice. I just got to prepare for conditions just like this. All I can do is focus on my mental game and see where that takes me.”

Five players share fifth place at 2-under 211. They include 2020 University of Texas commit Scott Roden, 2020 University of Oklahoma commit Stephen Campbell Jr., 2022 University of Texas commit Jacob Sosa, University of Houston sophomore Austyn Reily and Baylor University senior Mark Reppe. They begin Sunday’s final round three shots behind Hicks.

The 111th Texas Amateur’s final round looks to be a battle. Fourteen players are within five shots of the lead. Nothing is certain in major championship golf; however, the final round of this year’s Texas Amateur is set up for a dramatic finish. It all gets started Sunday at 8:00 a.m. For live scoring, videos and more information, click here.