SAVANNAH, Ga. (July 25, 2015) — Entering the final round with a six-shot deficit, there is one thing for sure.
“I knew if the leader played well, there isn’t anything I can do about it,” said Pinehurst resident and University of North Carolina junior Zach Martin. “I just told myself to play a solid round and see what happens.”
The end result was a 2-under 69 for Martin after consecutive days of posting 67s at the Donald Ross-designed Wilmington Island Club in Savannah, Ga., which was just enough to pull out the win at the 33rd Oglethorpe Invitational.
Yesterday’s leader, Dillon Board, entered the day having posted back-to-back 64s to have a five-stroke lead over a group of five players. Board, however, blew up in his final round, where conditions were tougher today as the wind played a major factor. He posted a 9-over 80, dropping him from contention and in a tie for sixth place.
Scoring was difficult in today’s conditions.
“The wind was a major factor today,” Martin said in an interview with AmateurGolf.com after the tournament. “It changed everything, from club selection to ball flight, and that threw a lot of people off today.”
Well, most people. Martin seemed to weather the storm just fine.
“I was hitting the ball really well today. When you hit it well, it makes the wind much less of a factor,” he said.
His day got off to a great start. He was three under through five holes and after the turn made a couple more birdies on his inward nine to get to five under for his round. Most of the field was heading in the opposite direction — after 34 posted scores in the 60s yesterday, Martin was one of only six to do so today.
“The first two days I hit the ball well. Good, but not great. My putting and scrambling helped me post low scores the first two days. Today, I hit the driver really well, and everything came full circle until I faltered at the end.”
It wasn’t an ideal ending, with three late bogeys.
“Luckily I had enough margin for error that I still won the tournament,” he said with a hint of relief.
Martin was going to play a couple of other tournaments before heading back to Chapel Hill for the start of the school year, but pulled out when his brother Josh got an invitation to the Western Amateur. Zach decided that caddying for his brother would be just as much fun. Josh was in the Oglethorpe field, finishing in a tie for 21st place at 211, eight shots behind Zach.