By Jack Persons
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (June 14, 2014) — Taylor Pendrith put together his fourth straight under-par round today to secure the title at the Monroe Invitational.
Pendrith, who plays for Kent State, posted a final round one-under 69, good for an 11-under 269 for the tournament and a two stroke victory over Adam Svensson of Barry University.
“It feels pretty good, a little overwhelming right now,” Pendrith explained. “I didn’t play my best golf today but good enough I guess, so it feels really good.”
With cold and windy conditions on the final day, Pendrith had to grind out his round in order to hoist the trophy. After making 20 birdies over the first three days, the tough pins and swirling winds held Pendrith to two birdies and an eagle.
He managed the pressure of the final pairing very well, as he went head-to-head with Team Canada teammate Garrett Rank for most of the day.
The two were tied at 10-under when they teed off this morning, and both turned at the same number, but Pendrith delivered quite the one-two punch to put away the tournament on the way in.
The par-5 12th hole was reachable in two for most of the field, and Pendrith took advantage, making an eagle, while Rank had to settle for par. The two stroke swing turned to three on the next hole as Pendrith birdied the tough par-3 to go up three strokes on Rank and the rest of the field.
“I wasn’t trying to think about it too much, I was trying to think one shot at a time,” Pendrith said. “I knew what Garrett was at and he was the closest to me for the longest time, so it was almost like match play with Garrett for a while, and then I pulled away.”
Pendrith made a bogey on the 16th hole, dropping the lead to two strokes, but Rank bogeyed the 17th, essentially securing the victory for Pendrith.
Svensson fired a 66 earlier in the day, hoping to put the pressure on the leaders. He made five birdies but made a costly bogey, his only of the day, on the 18th hole. He finished in solo second place at nine-under 271.
Rank ended the tournament tied for third with Daniel Stringfellow of Auburn University at eight-under 272.
The low round of the day went to Michael Gellerman of the University of Oklahoma, who fired a five-under 65 with five birdies and two bogeys.
2013 champion Nick Palladino of the University of Rochester could not rekindle the magic of last year’s victory, shooting five-over 285 to tie for 43rd.
Pendrith, who won the prestigious Porter Cup last year, now has quite the resume. With the victory, he joined Dustin Johnson, Chris DiMarco, and Jeff Sluman as a champion at the Monroe Invitational Tournament.
“This tournament has so much history,” Pendrith said. “This is my third time here, and it just keeps getting better every year. To add my name to the guys who have won the tournament in the past feels awesome.”