Connor Bruns captures South Carolina Match Play title
(Carolinas Golf Association Photo)
HILTON HEAD, SC (June 19, 2016) -- After a 1 up
victory in the semifinals Connor Bruns of Duncan
decided to patiently play to the middle of the green
during Sunday’s final round match against Johnson
Holliday of Aynor. The two rising college sophomores
maintained their composure early in the match, each
waiting for the other to make a mistake.
No mistakes were made and Bruns’ commitment to
the center of the green paid dividends when his
approach on the par-4th hole crept within six feet of
back-left hole location. The Furman product knocked in
his birdie putt and took a 1 up lead.
Holliday hit a marvelous bunker shot on the par-3
8th that was nullified when Bruns, who was in the
middle of the green again, rolled in his second birdie
putt of the match to double his lead. The Duncan
resident kept his foot on the gas and made yet another
birdie on No. 9 to finish the front nine 3 up.
“Making birdies is not something that comes easy
out here. I don’t expect it on every hole but I kept
hitting one shot at a time hoping to get good looks on
the green,” Bruns said.
The No. 12 seed was able to extend his lead to 4
after Holliday made a bogey that was a result of a
wayward tee shot on No. 11. The USC Aiken golfer
turned to his driver to help stage a comeback. Holliday
piped a drive down the left side of the par-5 13th which
led to a birdie which was good enough to win the hole.
Both players had around ten feet for par on the 14th.
Burns was away and missed, opening the door for
Holliday to seize the momentum and cut the deficit to 2
down. However his par putt also slipped by the hole.
Bruns was within two feet for par on No. 15,
essentially forcing Holliday to make his 8-footer for par
to extend the match. The No. 10 seed did just that
pushing the match to the par-4 16th. Holliday left a
downhill slider for birdie above the hole, which did not
end up mattering when Bruns sunk his birdie putt to
4&2 and become the 44th South Carolina Amateur
Match Play champion.
“It was a great way to end it. I wanted to see one
last putt go in, and it did,” Bruns said. Winning this
championship required Bruns to advance through 36
holes of stroke play and win five 18 hole matches,
left the champion, as he put it, “exhausted.”
Bruns went on to thank his brother for caddying all
week as well as his parents, including his father who
was in attendance Sunday, giving Father’s Day a
meaning. With the win Bruns gets his name engraved
on the trophy and an exemption into the 102nd
Carolinas Amateur Championship hosted by Country
Club of Charleston July 14-17.
View results for South Carolina Amateur Match Play Golf Championship