Colin Bowles outlasts Spencer Ralston in Georgia Amateur final
Colin Bowles hoists Georgia Amateur trophy <br>(GSGA Photo)</br>
Colin Bowles hoists Georgia Amateur trophy
(GSGA Photo)
ATLANTA, GA (July 17, 2016) -- The final match between Colin Bowles of Albany and Spencer Ralston of Gainesville came down to the 18th hole with Bowles walking away the Centennial Georgia Amateur champion. The match play portion of the state championship took place at the Brookhaven Course of Capital City Club, July 15-17.

The match started with Ralston gaining momentum over the first nine holes, taking a 2 up lead at the turn. Ralston, a soon-to-be Georgia Bulldog, took hole 10 and took a 3 up advantage with eight holes to play. Not backing down, Bowles caught fire on the final nine holes by claiming four of the next five. With two holes to play, both players walked to the 17th tee all square. Ralston found a bit of trouble and Bowles made what he had to for a 1 up lead with one to play. With the final match coming down to the 18th hole, the players halved the hole with bogeys, giving Bowles his first state championship.

The 16-year-old champion paved his way through the bracket by winning five matches in three days. On Friday in the round of 32, Bowles defeated Trey Pearson of Dacula, 3 and 2. That afternoon in the round of 16, he beat Cameron Hooper of Atlanta, 4 and 3. The quarterfinals and semifinals were held on Saturday, where Bowles earned wins over Tim Arnoult, Jr., of Roswell (3 and 2) and Kris Mikkelsen of Atlanta (2 up), respectively.

Ralston, who earned runner-up honors - his best finish at a Georgia Amateur Championship - began his run to the finals with wins over Michael Hines of Woodstock (4 and 2) in the round of 32 and Nickolaus Budd of Woodstock (1 up) in the round of 16. Ralston defeated Christopher Harris of Atlanta, 3 and 2, in the quarterfinals. He then beat Luke Schniederjans of Powder Springs, 3 and 1, in the semifinals.

The Bowles victory makes him the youngest ever to win the Georgia Amateur Championship since the very first winner 100 years ago, and that was a 14-year-old boy named Bobby Jones.

Those making it all the way to the quarterfinals with Bowles and Ralston include Harris, Schniederjans, 2015 Georgia Amateur champion Dru Love of St. Simons Island, Arnoult, Tyler Joiner of Leesburg and Mikkelsen.

A 36-hole stroke play qualifier was held at the Crabapple Course of Capital City Club in Woodstock on Tuesday and Wednesday. The 32 players who made match play have earned an exemption into next year's Georgia Amateur Championship

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