Austin Connelly wins Jones Cup in playoff
01 Feb 2015
by Conner Penfold of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Ocean Forest Golf Club, Austin Connelly Rankings

Austin Connelly with his winning trophy<br>(Photo courtesy of Bridget Connelly)
Austin Connelly with his winning trophy
(Photo courtesy of Bridget Connelly)
SEA ISLAND, Ga. — For the second straight year, Austin Connelly found himself in a playoff at the Jones Cup Invitational. Losing in 2014 to fellow Canadian Corey Conners, the 18-year-old shot a final-round 68 at Ocean Forest Golf Club to force his way into another playoff where this time, he won.

With the win, Connelly earns an exemption from the PGA TOUR to the 2015 McGladrey Classic, being held next October at the Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside course. This was the first year the Jones Cup winner was granted such an exemption.

Connelly trailed second-round leader Kyle Jones of Snowflake, Ariz. by seven shots heading into Sunday's final round, then made two 20- footers on the first two playoff holes to knock off the Baylor University senior. Connelly shot even-par 71 on day one to sit three back of Jones, who opened with 68, with Connelly falling even further behind after posting 77 on Saturday.

ROUND TWO RECAP: Kyle Jones maintains three-shot advantage
ROUND ONE RECAP: Kyle Jones leads with opening-round 68

But Connelly's final round 68 consisted of six birdies — one more than he had made in the first two rounds combined — as he fought back to tie Jones, who struggled to a four-over 75 on Sunday.

Jones bogeyed holes seven through nine to post 39 on the front nine before fighting back with birdies at 10 and 12. But those red numbers were cancelled out by bogeys at 15 and 17.

Hank Lebioda of Florida State had a chance to win outright with a par on 18 but had his approach shot roll down a bank off the green, giving way to a double bogey. He finished in a tie for third place with Alabama junior Tom Lovelady. Connelly could have made par and won outright on 18, as well, but a bogey and a par for Jones sent both players to extra holes, where Connelly's putter helped him claim victory.

"I hit good putts the entire week," Connelly told Golfweek. "I didn't make much the first few days, but today I gave myself good looks, hit a couple inside of 5 feet and kept that momentum going through that entire round."

Last year's winner Conners, the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world according to the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com rankings, shot 73- 76-74 in his attempt to defend and finished in a tie for 14th.

In November, Connelly signed his letter of intent to play for the University of Arkansas starting in the fall of 2015. Connelly shares dual citizenship with Canada and the United States, where he goes to high school in Irving, Texas.

His 2014 amateur season involved a Tailhade Cup victory, a runner-up finish at the Argentine Amateur, as well as a quarterfinal appearance at the North & South Amateur.

Follow the link below for full results.

The Jones Cup was born from a deep commitment to amateur golf by the A.W. Jones family, who founded the Cloister and Sea Island Golf Club in 1928. The Sea Island Golf Club has played host to seven USGA championships. The Jones Cup is yet another extension of the family's strong involvement in amateur golf.

This 54-hole individual stroke-play event, inaugurated in 2001, is played at Ocean Forest Golf Club. The Rees Jones design opened in 1995 and has hosted the 1998 Georgia State Amateur Championship, the 1999 Southern Amateur Championship and the 2001 Walker Cup Match. The Jones Cup brings together many of the finest amateurs from the United States and abroad for this three-day competition.

- courtesy JonesCupInvitational.com

View Complete Tournament Information

Results For Jones Cup Invitational Golf Tournament
Place  PtsScores
T1CanadaAustin ConnellyCanada150071-77-68=216
T1AZKyle JonesSnowflake, AZ100068-73-75=216
T3ALTom LoveladyBirmingham, AL70073-74-70=217
T3FLHank LebiodaWinter Springs, FL70072-72-73=217
T5FLJack MaguireSt. Petersburg, FL70073-77-70=220

View full results for Jones Cup Invitational Golf Tournament

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