LAUREL — A second-round score of 8-under 64 gave Nathan Bailey a big lead heading into the third and final round of the Montana Men's State Mid-Amateur Championship.

Bailey, a Laurel native, didn't record a bogey Friday at Laurel Golf Club, his home course. The former Rocky Mountain College golfer is 12-under for the tournament, seven strokes clear of second place.

Bailey has only carded one bogey through 36 holes. The lone blemish happened in the opening round on the par 3 sixth. He birdied that hole Friday, part of a 5-under 31 on the front nine. 

Bailey's 64 is the best round by any player in the Mid-Am so far, and his 68 on Thursday is tied for second best.

Billings' Jake Hedge, this year's Men's State Am winner, is in second place at 5-under after shooting a 68 on Friday. His older brother and defending Mid-Am champion Josh Hedge eagled the par-5 ninth hole en route to a second-round 69. He is tied for third at 3-under with Bozeman's Joey Lovell, who also shot a 72 on Thursday and a 69 on Friday.

Helena's Bennett MacIntyre sits in fifth place at 1-over for the tournament, Billings' John Nielsen is sixth (2-over), Billings' JimBob Coleman is seventh (3-over), Laurel's Brad Fox is eighth (4-over), Billings' Marcus Drange is ninth (5-over) and Livingston's Brandon Davison is 10th (6-over).

Bailey, the Hedge brothers and Lovell will play in the final group on Saturday. They are scheduled to tee off at 1:10 p.m.

Bailey has not won a Mid-Am but earned three straight State Am titles from 2010 to 2012. He was tied for 16th at this year's State Am, which was played last month at Yellowstone Country Club in Billings.


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