MacManus finds himself in similar position as the former Arizona Wildcats golfer takes a one-stroke lead into the final round of the 105th Southern Amateur in Florida.
McManus, who was a senior in the spring, shot a 5-under-par 66 after earlier rounds of 73-67 at Innisbrook Resort Copperhead course, making a save from out of the rough just short of the 18th hole to card the tournament's third round low and secure a one stroke buffer going into the final day.
2010 Western Amateur runner-up, Gregor Main of UCLA, and Georgia Tech sophomore Richy Werenski trail MacManus by a shot.
"I played well the last two days and really managed my game going," said MacManus
"I am very happy with the way I was able to come back after my opening round. It's always good to play back into contention against a field like this and it makes it exciting for the final round."
Ranked 56th in the world, MacManus was runner-up at the 2010 Asian Amateur in a prelude before claiming his biggest title with a monster 20 foot putt on the 18th at Royal Melbourne at the Master of the Amateurs for a three stroke victory over Ryan McCarthy, New Zealand's Ryan Fox and England's Andrew Sullivan.
"My game is solid at present," says MacManus.
"It's great to be again in with a chance to win, but there's a lot of golf ahead. I'll be looking to just got out there tomorrow and do the same things, stick to my game and be patient."
MacManus has been based in the US for a number of years. In 2009 he secured solid results there including a 3rd at the 2009 Southern Amateur Championship and a tie for 6th at The Players Amateur.
As a junior MacManus also collected numerous titles back in Australia, including the Greg Norman Junior Masters in 2006 and in 2007 he won the Queensland Junior Championships before then going onto the US collegiate system where he was based at Arizona State.
"I'm stronger from it [moving to the US], as is my game. The work you put in helps you contend in events like this and it shows that you can get the results."
With the opportunity to claim another main amateur title, MacManus knows he'll need to have his game on song. There are too many players competing in this Southern Amateur who can score low.
There's not only the pride of claiming a main US amateur tournament, there's opportunities to take your game to the next level as the winner will receive an exemption into the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando in March.
Lets hope then that MacManus can repeat Michael Sim's efforts in 2004 when the USPGA Tour player was victorious in this event in Tennessee.
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