LEWISTON, N.Y. (July 25, 2008)--Adam Mitchell of the University of Georgia gave away a seven-stroke lead to the University of Alabama-Birmingham's Zack Sucher at the Porter Cup Invitational, but stormed back in the final round with a 1-under-69 to take a three-stroke victory at 270.
Sucher finished second at 7-under 273.
“This is huge,” Mitchell told the Buffalo News. “It’s a great tournament. It has great history. It’s the 50th anniversary, so that’s cool. A lot of my friends were here playing. It was just fun, a fun tournament and a fun week.”
Mitchell started the tourney by firing a scorching 62 in the first round at the Niagara Falls Country Club, and followed that up with a 66 to open up a seven-stroke lead halfway through the tourney. But after heavy rains on Thursday postponed play, forcing golfers to play 36 holes on Friday, he faded on the second 18, posting a 1-over 73 and allowing Sucher to close the gap by firing a 6-under 66.
It was after that disappointing round that Mitchell's father Jim, hopped a plane from Tennessee to suprise his son by caddying for him on the final day.
“After the 73, I thought maybe I could give him a boost of energy,” Jim told the Niagara Gazette. “In terms of support, I’m sure it helped. But I didn’t say much. He did this.
“To be here is an honor. To watch my son win this ... it leaves me speechless.”
Heading into the final round, Sucher and Mitchell were tied at 9-under 201, with University of South Carolina-bound Wesley Bryan in third at 205.
Mike Van Sickle posted a 68 in the final round to take second at 5-under 275, while Lucas Lee took fourth at 276.
Mitchell made match play at the 2008 British Amateur and has notched top-10 finishes at the 2007 Northeast Amateur and Jones Cup as well as the 2006 Dogwood Invitational.
Sucher won this year's Azalea Invitational and was runner-up at the Palmetto Amateur. Last year he won the Cardinal Amateur.
Defending champ Brian Harman, who fired a tournament-record 22-under par, is not in the field this year.