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Montague breaks amateur drought with State Open of Virginia win
Jack Montague (VSGA photo)
Jack Montague (VSGA photo)

An amateur hasn’t won the State Open of Virginia since 2011. On Saturday, 20-year-old Jack Montague broke that streak. The University of Virginia sophomore finished 36 holes at Ballyhack Golf Club in Roanoke, Va., at 10 under, then won a short playoff against another amateur, Mark Lawrence.

In fact, amateurs made up four of the top five spots on the leaderboard. Amateurs Isaac Simmons and Scott Shingler were part of a three-way tie for third at 9 under with professional Josh Speight.

As it turns out, Montague and Lawrence go way back in this game. They grew up playing together at Hermitage Country Club near Richmond, Va.

In the playoff, at No. 18, Montague found the fairway off the tee, the green in regulation and barely missed a birdie putt that would have secured the victory. Instead, he waited anxiously as Lawrence’s par putt rolled past the hole, giving Montague the victory anyway and the right to hoist the Farmington Cup.

“This is awesome, definitely the biggest win of my career so far,” Montague said. “Especially, after my first day, shooting 2 over, to come back Friday and Saturday and play as well as I did, it’s awesome. It feels really good. It hasn’t sunk in. But I’m sure it will.”

Both Montague and Lawrence, a redshirt senior at Virginia Tech, were impressive in the final round. Montague birdie four of his first five (and two of his last four) on the way to a final-round 66. Lawrence was 4 under in his final six holes for a closing 68.

For Lawrence, this is the second time in five years that he has lost the State Open in a playoff.

“It sucks to lose, but I couldn’t be happier for Jack,” Lawrence said. “He’s a great dude, and I’m so happy he could get this win.”

The victory comes at a pivotal time for Montague, who is set to begin his second season with the Cavaliers.

“It’s a big confidence booster for sure,” Montague said. “I feel like I’ve been pretty close to playing good golf a couple of times this summer. It’s just been a few things here or there. This week, it all kind of came together. It just shows me that I can compete. I’m real excited about it.”

Quotes, information courtesy of Chris Lang, VSGA

ABOUT THE State Open of Virigina

The Championship is a 54-hole, stroke play event with the field limited to 144 contestants (69 eligible Professionals, 69 eligible Amateurs, the Defending Champion, and 5 Open Qualifier spots). There will be a cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes. Open to VSGA members of all ages. Participants must hold an active GHIN number issued by a licensed VSGA Member Club in good standing.

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