CHARLESTON, SC (April 2, 2017) -- Georgia Tech junior Chris Petefish has won the Azalea Invitational.
After beginning the final day at the Country Club of Charleston six shots behind Petefish surged on Sunday with a 4-under 67 to finish 8-under and one shot in front of Joseph Pagdin, Cole Hammer and Todd White.
“I’m shocked. I didn’t expect this,” Petefish told the The Post and Courier. “I wanted to play a good round and make some birdies. Our whole group played well, and that helped.”
Wake Forest senior Woody Woodward began the day 10-under and three shots clear of the field but as he struggled to a 4-over 75 and a 6-under finish he opened the door to the rest of the field. Woodward ended up in a three-way tie for fifth with Scott Harvey and Jake Kevorkian.
Petefish, who last won in 2014 at the Arizona Stroke Play Championship, began his move early in the final round with 2nd and 3rd hole birdies to reach 6-under and put himself into contention.
Following a bogey on the 6th, Petefish regained his form with 9th, 10th and 12th hole birdies to move to 8-under. Two more bogeys on Nos. 14 and 18 did follow but the difference proved be an eagle on the par-5 15th. Petefish hit his 5-wood to 10-feet setting up the eagle.
Looking to keep the momentum going Petefish had a remarkable up-and-down on the ensuing hole. After hitting his tee shot into the trees off the tee, Petefish punched out a 4-iron that came to rest 10 yards behind the green. Petefish caught a break with a favorable lie from off the green and he was able to pitch it close and save par.
The 18th hole bogey did mean that Petefish had to sweat things out a bit down the stretch. Heading into the final hole both Joseph Pagdin and Cole Hammer had a chance to tie with a birdie but they ended up settling for pars.
“It’s been a long time,” Petefish said. “This definitely gives me a lot of confidence. I’m kind of speechless.”
-Tommy Braswell of The Post and Courier contributed to this story