BLYTHEWOOD, SC (July 28, 2016) -- Jacob Bridgeman
of Inman, S.C. used four straight birdies to give himself
a five shot lead entering Thursday’s final round at the
Carolinas Junior Boys’ Championship. He had the best
seat in the house to watch fellow competitor pull of a
similar feat. Zack Gordon of Gaffney, S.C. birdied four
of his first six holes to get within one shot of
Bridgeman. A birdie on No. 8 allowed Gordon to pull
even with Bridgeman. “I was playing decent, just wasn’t
making any putts. I was even through eight and Zack
was five under. He came out hot and I knew I was going
to have to play solid on the back.”
Bridgeman, who has had a fantastic summer since
claiming the 3A high school state champion, used that
experience to add another trophy to the collection.
Bridgeman began to regain his lead with a birdie on No.
10. Gordon’s efforts to keep pace turned into a bit of a
roller coaster. The rising junior made double bogeys on
Nos. 10 and 12 but sandwiched those with birdies on
Nos. 11 and 13. The birdie on No. 13 got Gordon back
within three. Any hopes Gordon had of another
comeback were dashed when Bridgeman hit the shot of
The Clemson commit hit his tee shot on No. 14 to
one foot. The 14th hole is a par-4. This spectacular shot
surprised everyone, especially the group putting on the
green. “I did not think I could get there, I was way
short yesterday and today it was into the wind and I
was hitting a cut. It hit on the fringe and rolled to a
foot. I’ve had a hole-in-one before but I have never
been that close on a par-4” Bridgeman said. The rising
junior tapped in for eagle which gave him a comfortable
lead but that did not stop him from further separating
himself from the pack.
The Jimmy South champion birdied No. 16 to get to
10-under-par. Bridgeman knocked in a four footer on
No. 18 to shoot a second consecutive four-under-par
68, 11-under-par 205 for the tournament which was
more than enough to make him the 67th Carolinas
Junior Boys’ Champion. “It feels good to win such a big
event coming off of a couple of other big wins. This
keeps me going and keeps my confidence high,”
Bridgeman said after receiving his trophy.
Gordon’s eventful round ended at even-par which
was enough to claim second place at two-under-par
GIRLS JUNIOR AMATEUR
A playoff put an exclamation point on an exciting
final round at the 60th Carolinas Junior Girls'
Championship. Emily Hawkins of Lexington, N.C.
survived a back-and-forth battle with Kathleen Sumner
of Charleston, S.C. to complete the victory. The
showdown between the two players included three lead
changes while Sumner posted Thursday's low round,
two-under 69, to catch Hawkins and force a playoff.
With the victory, Hawkins becomes just the third
player in history to capture both the North Carolina
Junior Girls' and Carolinas Junior Girls' titles in the same
year. The previous players to do so are Adrienne
Millican of Fuquay-Varina, N.C. in 2000 and Eleana
Williams of Pinehurst, N.C. in 2006.
For the third consecutive day, the heat index in
Thomasville, N.C. climbed over 100 degrees. The home-
schooled rising junior Hawkins began with a two stroke
lead over 17-year-old rising senior Sumner. However,
Hawkins' poor tee shot on the par-4 7th led to double
bogey. A Sumner birdie on No. 9 gave her the outright
lead with nine holes to play. The championship became
a two player race, as Riley Smyth of Cary, N.C. finished
in third place, six shots back.
After a booming drive on the 444-yard par-5 10th,
Sumner delivered a 9-iron from 135-yards within three
feet. Looking like she would sink the putt and claim a
two stroke advantage, Sumner's short putt lipped out.
Hawkins drained a long birdie putt to remain tied. The
10th hole would start a four hole stretch of putting woes
for Sumner, where she missed four putts within five
feet. "I felt confident over my putts and thought I lined
it up right, but it just wasn't working," said Sumner,
who has committed to play golf at Florida State
The 14th hole at Colonial Country Club produced a
two stroke swing. Hawkins rolled in a birdie from the
back fringe while Sumner made bogey from the
greenside bunker. On No. 15, Hawkins would give a
shot back with a three-putt bogey.
On the par-3 17th, the championship looked in
Hawkins' hands. She was safely on the green while
Sumner was again in a greenside bunker. Walking up to
her ball, Sumner motivated herself. " 'Kathleen you're
going to run this up. You're going to close the clubface
and run this up,' " Sumner recounted after the round.
"It went in and I thought, 'Alright, this is destined.' "
Her holed bunker shot again tied the two girls. The two
players exchanged two-putt pars on 18 to finish the
championship deadlocked at one-over 143. Sumner shot
two-under 69 to catch Hawkins, who played the final
round even par 71.
The playoff began on the 491-yard par-5 9th,
where the edge appeared to belong to the long-hitting
Sumner who had already birdied it once Thursday.
However, adrenaline may have gotten the best of
Sumner. Her third shot from 73-yards bounded over the
green into a bunker. From there she played it back over
the front of the green. Hawkins' two-putt par was
enough to claim the championship. "I didn't expect to
win, but it's very exciting," said the 15-year-old
Hawkins. Next on her schedule is the U.S. Women's
Amateur Championship, August 1-7 at Rolling Green
Golf Club in Springfield, Pa.
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