Elki Kow escapes playoff to win East Coast Amateur
2015 East Coast Amateur champion Elki Kow
(Photo courtesy of the East Coast Amateur)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The 3rd annual East Coast Amateur came down to a three-way playoff on Wednesday afternoon at UNC's Finley Golf Course.
Elki Kow, an Indonesian native who will be a senior this fall at Gardner-Webb University, birdied the third playoff hole to capture the title over Amarin Kraivixien of Thailand and Nick Stafford of North Carolina.
Kow, who shot 70 in the final round, got to two-under by the tenth hole before grinding out eight straight pars to finish the day.
Kow trailed day one leaders by four strokes after Tuesday's 36 holes. Stafford, along with Toks Pedro of Nigeria, shared the lead by two entering the final round. But Stafford, despite birdieing two of his first five holes, went four over during the next 13 holes, including a double-bogey at the par-4 9th, to shoot 74 on Wednesday and slide back into a tie for first.
Kraivixien, a native of Bangkok, Thailand, will attend Campbell University in North Carolina beginning this fall. He was on track to win the event outright with a birdie at 14 to move him to one-under for the day, and four-under for the tournament. But a disastrous double at the par-4 16th dropped him out of the lead before a closing birdie at 18 brought him back into the playoff.
Stafford, at senior at Belmont Abbey College, was playing in the event alongside his father, Todd. At age 52, Todd fired the lowest round of the third round — a 69 — that jumped him into a sixth place finish.