ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Dru Love battled through five playoff holes to win the Georgia Amateur Championship at 8-under-par 272 (66-67-69-60) over two other players. The 94th playing of the annual state championship took place on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club, July 9-12.
Love's even-par 70 on Sunday was his toughest round over the four-day tournament, as well as the most uneventful. That is before the playoff. He recorded pars on the first nine holes for a 35. On the backside of the course, where he was 11-under-par over the first three days, he made par on 10 through 14. On 15, Love made the first of his two birdies on the day, adding the second on 16. On the 192-yard par-3 17th hole, he made bogey for his even-par 70 final round.
Once the 72nd hole was played, three players were tied at 8-under-par 272. In addition to Love, Greyson Sigg of Augusta (69-69-67-67) and Sean Elliott of Sandy Springs (74-69-65-64) shared the top spot on the summary sheet. These three would replay 18 as the first playoff hole, and they would remain tied over the next four extra holes. The playoff, which consisted of five holes total (18, one, 17, 18, one), would be settled on number one green where Love made birdie to clinch the Championship in front of his family and friends surrounding the green.
Love is a rising junior at the University of Alabama, where he also is a member of the perennial power golf team. This victory came at the first GSGA competition Love has played in. He's never qualified before for the state championship, but this year with it being hosted by his home club, he took advantage of the familiar setting.
Trey Rule of Eatonton (73-64-70-66) and Zachary Healy of Peachtree Corners (71-64-70-68) tied for fourth at 7-under-par 273. Will Chandler of Atlanta finished sixth at 6-under-par 274 (74-64-67-69). Travis Williamson of Brunswick came in seventh at 4-under-par 276 (68-71-70-67). Two players, Scott Wolfes, Jr., of St. Simons Island (71-71-69-66) and Tim Arnoult, Jr., of Decatur (71-67-69-70), tied for eighth at 3-under-par 277. Doug Hanzel of Savannah (72-71-67-68) and Benjamin Shipp of Duluth (70-66-72-70) round out the top 10 on the final leaderboard at 2-under-par 278.
The shot of the tournament came in the final round as Rule made his first hole-in-one on the 223-yard par-3 12th hole with a 4-iron. Rule, who plays at Mercer University, finished in a tie for fourth at 7-under-par 273 (73-64-70-66). He earned a share of runner-up honors at last year's Georgia Amateur.
Robert Mize of Columbus, winner of last year's Georgia Amateur Championship played at Idle Hour Club in Macon, finished this year in a two-player tie for 22nd at 3-over-par 283 (69-70-72-72). The other past champion in the field was David Noll, Jr., of Dalton, who won in 2003 and 2011. This week Noll tied for 17th at 1-over-par 281 (75-71-71-64).
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