JACKSON, Miss. (June 12, 2014) -- Chandler Eaton, 16, rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole Thursday to win the 42nd Southern Junior Championship at Country Club of Jackson. He beat Stephen Franken of Raleigh NC after both had shot 68 in the closing round for matching 6-under totals of 138.
Franken had a chance to keep the playoff going, but barely missed his birdie attempt from inches closer. It was his second playoff loss in a month in major amateur events, having lost the North Carolina state high school final in an extra hole last month. To make matters worse, he thought he had a firm grip on this title when he broke out of a tight pack with an eagle 3 on the 14th hole of regulation for a two-shot cushion. However, he three-putted the next two holes to fall back into a tie with Eaton. "
I just lost my focus after the eagle," he said.
With the victory, Eaton, a rising junior at Alpharetta (Ga.) High School, earns as berth in the 108th Southern Amateur next month at the Honors Course near Chattanooga.
Local favorite Wilson Furr and first-round leader Will Dickson of Providence, RI, both missed the playoff by a stroke. The tournament had been cut to 36 holes after Tuesday's rainout.
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