SEA ISLAND, Georgia (Feb. 7, 2010) -- Augusta State sophomore Patrick Reed defeated Victor Dubuisson of France today in a sudden-death playoff at the Jones Cup Invitational, the first U.S. major event of the season in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Men's World Rankings.
Both players, who were tied one stroke out of the lead heading into the final round, posted 2-over 74 on Super Bowl Sunday to finish at 6-over 222.
Dubuisson appeared to have things under control deep into the back nine, leading by three strokes through thirteen holes. But bogeys on Nos. 15, 17, and the monstrous par four 18th opened the door for Reed, who parred his final six holes to tie Dubuisson, then won the sudden-death playoff with a par on the first playoff hole.
“Going into 16 I knew (Dubuisson) was 4 over and heard he’d just hit it in the hazard, so I looked at my dad and said, ‘Time to finish strong,’” Reed told Rex Hoggard of The Golf Channel. “After that I felt like I had all the momentum.”
Auburn University Sophomore Blayne Barber, who held the narrow one stroke lead over Dubuisson and Reed after Saturday's second round, shot 76 to finish alone in third at 223. 2009 U.S. Amateur champ Byeong Hun An posted the low round of the day on Sunday, a 1-under 71 that left him alone in fourth, while USA Walker Cup team member Nathan Smith finished T6.
The 54-hole stroke play tournament, founded in 2001, was originally meant to be a one-time preview event held by the host club of the 2001 Walker Cup. Former USGA Senior Champion and Ocean Forest Club member Jim Stahl was one of the event's founders, and he continues to be active as the tournament has moved from a single, then biennial, and now an annual competition with some of the world's best amateurs in the field.
TOURNAMENT NOTES - courtesy Sean Martin of Golfweek Magazine - to read Sean's final round recap, click here>
* To call runner-up Victor Dubuisson a colorful character may be an understatement. The Frenchman won last year’s European Amateur, which earned him a spot in this year’s British Open. In Friday's first round, Dubuisson wore black-and-orange golf shoes, black pants, a black-and-orange shirt (completely untucked) and an orange visor.
Dubuisson has a scraggly beard, and almost shoulder-length hair, bearing a striking resemblance to Emile Hirsch’s character in ‘Into the Wild’; if you’ve never seen the movie, all you have to know is that Hirsch’s character ends the movie by living off the land in Alaska. Dubuisson looks like a skinny mountain man.
His swing is a dead-on impersonation of Brandt Snedeker’s action, though. Very quick with lots of wrist set.
While most amateurs stick to the stand bags, Dubuisson’s caddie was stuck lugging a full staff bag. Dubuisson definitely has some French flair, as well. I’m not condoning this sort of behavior, but this was the first time I’d seen this act performed out of anger on a golf course. After removing the headcover from his driver to measure a club-length for a drop, Dubuisson drop-kicked the headcover into a tree.
* Brad Benjamin, the U.S. Amateur Public Links champ, improved his score every day, shooting 79-77-74 to finish T16. He had the line of the day on Friday. When asked if he’s becoming impatient as he waits for his Masters start, Benjamin said, “I wish there were more days, to be honest. You’re teeing it up with the best players in the world.”
Benjamin, who’s from Rockford, Ill., and went to Memphis, is staying at a family friend’s house in Bluffton, S.C., and practicing at Belfair as he prepares for the Masters. He’s played Augusta National twice, shooting rounds of 71 and 75.
Benjamin has been to the Masters once, to watch a practice round in 2006.
“It was just so inspiring to be there. I remember standing on the 10th tee, watching a couple of guys tee off, and thinking to myself how cool it’d be to hit that shot in the tournament,” he said. “You just hope it’s you one day. You don’t know if it’ll be when you’re 25 or 45. That it came this quick is so surreal.”