MT. PLEASANT, SC (June 25, 2016) -- Philip Knowles fired a final round 69, and 72-hole tournament total of 10-under 278 for a 3-shot victory at the Rice Planters Amateur. The University of North Florida rising sophomore made key birdies on the 16th and 17th holes in the last round to close out the victory.
Knowles continues to improve as a player, and this is no doubt his biggest amateur victory as an adult. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur in both 2014 and 2015, and as a freshman recorded a T2 finish at the John Hayt Collegiate tournament.
Finishing in second at 7-under was a logjam of four players that included South Carolina’s Will Miles, Ohio State’s Will Grimmer, Wisconsin’s Eddie Wajda III and N.C. State’s Chad Cox.
“I thought 4-under, a clean round would do the deed. It turned out 3-under was good enough. I was grooving, playing my game,” Knowles told the Post Courier.
But during the round, he didn't know how he stood against the other players, although his father (serving as caddie) was checking his phone and the leaderboard secretly.
“I had no idea how I stood. My dad was looking at his phone but he didn’t tell me anything. At 17 I thought I had it if I made birdie. The putt was in the heart and gave me a little assurance,” Knowles said.
“This means a lot. It’s probably my biggest win ever.”
The historic tournament, a fixture on the southeast circuit of summer competition, found a temporary home this year at nearby RiverTowne Country Club. This was because Snee Farm Country Club, the tournament’s home course for the past 43 years, was in the process of redoing its greens.
Defending champion William Rainey of College of Charleston finished T6 at 6-under 282.