Seventy-two holes wasn’t enough golf to determine the champion at the 44th Palmetto Amateur.
After a final-round that saw many twists and turns, and multiple leaders, it came down to two players – Evan Brown and Jamie Wilson – in a sudden-death playoff Saturday.
The two golfers completed regulation play at 8-under-par 276, then headed to the 16th hole at Palmetto Golf Club for the playoff.
Both players hit the green on the long par-3, but Wilson raced his birdie putt a few feet past the hole. After Brown narrowly missed his birdie putt, Wilson made his par putt to extend the playoff.
“I knew I had to make that putt,” said Wilson, who is from Mount Pleasant, S.C., and just completed his junior season at the University of South Carolina.
Brown and Wilson both hit superb second shots into the 17th hole, with Brown the closest. But Wilson drained his birdie putt and unleashed a fist pump and a hand-slap with his caddie.
Brown’s birdie putt lipped out, and Wilson earned the victory.
“When he hit it close at 17, I knew I had to make it to keep going,” Wilson said.
Wilson shot 3-under-par 68 on Saturday while Brown, who shot the low round of the tournament Friday with a 62, posted 66. Brown, of Chadd’s Ford, Pa., plays golf at Loyola (Md.) University.
With the final group of 54-hole leader Morgan Deneen (78 on Saturday), Christian Salzer (74) and Eugene Hong (73) all faltering, that opened the door for a number of golfers to contend.
Former USC Aiken golfer Johnson Holliday (69) and Caleb Proveaux (70), from nearby Lexington, S.C., tied for third at 6-under 278.
Wilson, 21, said he has plenty of experience playing at Palmetto. He has previously played in the Southern Cross Junior Invitational, a high school event, and in the Cleveland Golf Palmetto intercollegiate tournament. In the latter, he was part of a Gamecock squad that set numerous scoring records on the way to victory this spring.
“The most important thing is knowing where to miss it,” Wilson said of the Palmetto layout.
Helping guide Wilson around for the final round was Aiken’s Chad Carter, who grew up playing the course and participated in this year’s tournament before missing the 54-hole cut.
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Wilson said before accepting the trophy. “It’s really special to me.”
COURTESY JOHN BOYETTE – PALMETTO GC