ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. — Consistent under par rounds of 70-71-70 propelled Pat Thompson of Asheville, NC into the winner’s circle for the first time at a CGA championship. Thompson’s score of five-under par 211 was two shots ahead of the number one ranked Carolinas Senior amateur Rick Cloninger of Fort Mill, SC.
Cloninger started the day eight shots off the lead but a final round 66 vaulted him into the championship title mix. Cloninger was the only player to score in the 60’s in the final round.
Thompson, a Country Club of Asheville member and number four ranked senior player in the Carolinas, made three birdies and one bogey in his final round. He did not know how he stood until he asked a fellow-competitor on the 18th tee. He then knew he had a two stroke lead with a par five remaining to be played. He made his par and secured the win.
“I spent last night at times when I couldn’t sleep visualizing doing something to win the tournament," Thompson said. “When I make a couple of putts then I am usually contending."
Making putts was certainly a big key for Thompson and even more so for a player that lives and plays on a bent grass course in the mountains versus a bermuda course in the Lowcountry.
”The first thing I do when I come out of the mountains is work on short game and putting to get a feel for the different types of grasses," Thompson noted.
Defending champion Jim Grainger of Charlotte, NC carded his second straight under par round with a 71 to finish at 219 and tied for 13th place.
Only six players were able to break par for the championship on the Tom Fazio design with the average score of 77.4.
View results for Carolinas Senior Amateur Golf Championship