COLUMBUS, GA. (June 23, 2005) -- Second-round leader Ryan Zebeau of Cedartown carded a final-round 74 for a two-under 211 total and held off playing partners Alex Jones of Woodstock and Whit Roper of Athens to capture the 40th Annual Georgia Junior Championship, which took place at Green Island Country Club, June 20-22. Jones, the first-round leader, and Roper finished one stroke back after final-round scores of 74 and 72, respectively.
Russell Henley of Macon finished in sole possession of fourth place at even-par 213 (73-70-70). Scott Lord of Martinez and T.J. Mitchell of Albany finished two strokes back and tied for fifth at 215. Five golfers - Bryan Alred and Robert Andrews, both of Woodstock, Sam Braver of Roswell, Patrick Coleman of Columbus and Matt Nagy of Buena Vista - all carded +3 for the tournament (216) to tie for seventh.
Zebeau led Jones by one stroke and Roper by three going into the final round. Jones birdied the second hole, a 157-yard par-3, to pull even with Zebeau. Zebeau got the stroke back with a birdie on No. 4 after both players bogeyed the third. He continued to lead by one at the turn after he and Jones both bogeyed five and parred the rest of the front nine. Roper made the turn at one-under and three strokes back with one bogey on his opening nine.
Zebeau ran into trouble on the back, recording consecutive bogeys on holes 12 and 13 and allowing Jones to catch up to him on the leaderboard. Zebeau then birdied No. 14 but Jones answered with a birdie of his own on 15 to even up the score again with three holes to play. Jones then found the water on No. 16, ending up with double-bogey and falling two strokes back. Roper, meanwhile, had a double himself (on No. 10) but caught up to Jones with birdies on holes 14 and 17. Zebeau held par on 17 but reduced his margin of victory to just one stroke when his 15-foot par putt went past the hole on 18 and he settled for bogey.
The top eight finishers in the Georgia Junior Championship represent the state in the 30th Annual Georgia-South Carolina Junior Challenge Match, which takes place at Yeamans Hall in Hanahan, S.C., July 15-16. A playoff was held among the five players at 216 to determine the seventh and eighth team qualifiers as well as first, second and third alternates. Braver won the seventh spot with a birdie on the first playoff hole, while Andrews secured the eighth and final position with a bogey on the fourth hole. Nagy will serve as the first alternate, Coleman the second and Alred the third alternate.
For the second day in a row, there was a hole-in-one on No. 16. Andrew Hanzel of Savannah recorded an ace in the final round, finding the hole 155 yards away with an 8-iron.
The par-71 layout at Green Island played to 6,378 yards. The field of 144 was cut to the low 70 and ties after 36 holes, with the cut line falling at 14-over 155 and exactly 70 players advancing to Wednesday's final round.
Entries were open to male amateur golfers between the ages of 14-17 as of June 20, who are Georgia residents and GSGA members or dependants of GSGA members.
For complete results, click on the the tournament link above (amateurgolf.com membership required).