Beck Captures Virginia State Open

MIDLOTHIAN, VA (July 18, 2010)--Two of the most significant golf titles in the commonwealth now reside in the same south Hampton Roads neighborhood.

Amateur Evan Beck (Virginia Beach) shot a final round 6-under 66 to post a one-stroke victory as the SunTrust State Open of Virginia concluded today at Independence Golf Club (7,029 yards, par 36-36—72).

Beck played a key second nine stretch in four under par and drained a deciding five-and-a-half footer for par at No. 18 to finish at 20-under 268 and outlast mini-tour player Cameron Yancey (Blackstone), who also logged a final day 66 (269, -19). Third round co-leader Rick Schuller of Chester, the PGA teaching professional at Swader’s Sports Park in Colonial Heights, had a final round 69 and finished three strokes back at 17-under 271.

Beck lives right down the street from his best friend, Brinson Paolini, who won an unprecedented third consecutive VSGA State Amateur title earlier this month. The two met when they were 11-year-olds at Princess Anne Country Club in Virginia Beach, where they are both members, and now they can each claim a spot in the record books.

With his 20 under aggregate, Beck equaled the State Open’s 72-hole scoring record, previously established by professional Robert Wrenn in 1991 at Willow Oaks; Wrenn graduated from Wake Forest, where Beck is now a rising sophomore. At 19, Beck is the youngest winner since the merger of two Opens 26 years ago, and is believed to be the youngest champion since 1932 when Chandler Harper won the State Open at the age of 18.

The final round featured back-and-forth birdies by Beck and Yancey. One stroke off the pace at 13 under to start the final round, Yancey surged early by birdieing four of the first six holes and took the lead alone after holing a 9-foot birdie putt at the par-4 fifth hole. He shot 4-under 32 on the outward to get to 17 under, while Beck was two under and a stroke back after nine holes.

Despite a bogey at the par-4 10th, Yancey birdied four straight holes at No. 11-14 to get to 20 under par, the target number he’d been eyeing all week. For his part, Beck stayed within two of the top spot, matching his fellow-competitor’s birdies at Nos. 12 and 13, holing a 4-footer at 12 and getting up and down from a slippery spot behind the green one hole later.

Showing the calm of a battle-tested veteran, Beck rallied by draining consecutive birdie putts of 12 and 10 feet at Nos. 15 and 16, respectively, to get to 20 under. His comeback also resulted in a pair of two-shot swings as Yancey drove it left at both holes and made back-to-back bogeys to drop to 18 under. Yancey had admittedly been fortunate not to find a troublesome spot when he drove it left earlier in the week, but he found thick rough off the tee at No. 15 and his second shot at No. 16 found the downslope of the bunker near the lip before his par putt narrowly missed.

Playing in front of a partisan Blackstone gallery, Yancey knocked in a five-and-a-half footer for birdie at No. 17 to get within one of Beck’s lead headed to the last.

At the par-4 18th, Yancey’s second shot came to rest 12 feet right of the cup and, first to putt, his birdie chance caught the bottom lip of the cup and spun out. After Beck’s 20-footer from the fringe hopped right off the putter face and came up short, he regrouped and knocked in the clinching par putt from just outside 5 feet, subtly swiping at the air as the ball tumbled in the cup. It was as much emotion as he’d shown all day.

The dark clouds were rumbling near the 18th green and so likely were Beck’s nerves when he went to stroke the winning putt.

“I stood over the putt, was about to pull the trigger and thought to myself, ‘I haven’t had a three-putt all week,’ so I backed off, collected myself and knocked it in the back,” Beck said.

A seven-hole stretch from Nos. 11-17 featured a birdie by either Beck or Yancey. Beck was four under and Yancey was three under in that span of holes.

“That’s my favorite part about golf – moments like that; just being able to prove yourself and wanting to beat the other guy,” Beck said. “It was going back and forth. He was making birdie after birdie. I didn’t think it was going to stop, so I hung in there and luckily came out with it. He played great. It was unfortunate that he got a couple of tough breaks on those bogeys.”

Yancey made only one par on the inward half, collecting five birdies against two late bogeys that proved costly. He was one of three competitors to post four rounds in the 60s during the championship. Amateur Roger Newsom of Virginia Beach (final round 69), who finished five strokes back, and mini-tour player Jay Woodson of Powhatan (68 on the last day) were the others.

“I thought if I could get one more circle on the card, I’d have a chance, but he played well. I can’t complain,” Yancey said. “He played a super round of golf. He did what he had to do. He kept making birdies. He picked up four strokes on [Nos.] 15 and 16.”

Beck had seven birdies against a bogey and often seemed completely at ease as he played controlled and well-executed shots to shoot four under on the second nine.

“I stayed patient and played under the radar,” Beck said. “Some mistakes were made and I was able to come through with it. I’m really happy with how I handled my emotions today – my nerves – I hit some quality shots coming down the stretch.”

Yancey took home the $6,600 low professional’s prize and is a combined 30 under over his last three tournaments.

“It was a fun week. Having a chance to win is always fun,” said Yancey, who took home the Lyn Luck Trophy. “I got the one thing I really wanted this week: the first-place check.”

Beck will have his name engraved on the Farmington Cup and received the Fritz Souder Trophy. He collected his first state title and a watershed win.

“I guess not too many people knew who I was except for the amateur guys I play with,” Beck smiled. “I don’t know. I guess they do now.”

MIDLOTHIAN, VA –– Results following the final round of the 2010 SunTrust State Open of Virginia at Independence Golf Club (7,029 yards, par 36-36—72) on Sunday, July 18.

(a – denotes amateur)

a – Evan Beck (Virginia Beach), 65-67-70-66—268
Cameron Yancey (Blackstone), 66-68-69-66—269
Rick Schuller, PGA (Chester), 67-64-71-69—271
a – Roger Newsom (Virginia Beach), 68-69-67-69—273
Jay Woodson (Richmond), 69-68-69-68—274
a – Nick Austin (Midlothian), 68-70-72-66—276
Stephen Gangluff (Charlottesville), 67-67-69-73—276
Richard Hanna (Stanardsville), 71-66-73-67—277
Hampton Ballard (Pearisburg), 70-73-68-67—278
a – Scott Shingler (Haymarket), 70-71-72-66—279
Faber Jamerson, PGA (Appomattox), 71-71-69-68—279
a – Keith Decker (Martinsville), 69-69-69-73—280
a – Garland Green (Tazewell), 76-69-70-65—280
a – Adam Webb (Ridgeway), 70-69-69-72—280
a – Lee Fisher (Altavista), 71-73-67-69—280
a – Marshall Bailey (Fincastle), 67-68-72-74—281
a – Michael Wade (Floyd), 71-72-70-69—282
a – Scott Marino (Fairfax), 69-74-70-69—282
a – Weston Eklund (Charlottesville), 71-69-69-73—282
a – Jeremy Wells (Hopewell), 74-70-69-69—282
a – Michael Taylor (Ashland), 70-77-66-69—282
Steven Jenkins (Chesterfield), 75-68-69-71—283
a – Mikey Moyers (Stanardsville), 72-71-73-68—284
a – Ben Keefer (Glen Allen), 71-70-72-72—285
a – Matthew Ball Jr. (Richmond), 78-68-69-70—285
a – Andrew Tilley (Ringgold), 73-69-71-72—285
Jon Corliss, PGA (Virginia Beach), 71-71-70-73—285
a – Daniel Walker (Earlysville), 75-71-70-70—286
a – Tim Kelley (Ashland), 72-70-71-73—286
a – Buck Brittain (Tazewell), 68-74-72-72—286
a – Bryce Chalkley (Richmond), 71-75-70-70—286
a – Aaron Eckstein (Salem), 68-77-70-72—287
a – Michael Shrader (Midlothian), 74-69-75-69—287
Eric Cobb, PGA (Verona), 75-70-73-69—287
a – Seth Norman (Norfolk), 70-71-75-72—288
a – Kyle Bailey (Fincastle), 73-73-72-70—288
a – Vincent Nadeau (Richmond), 65-78-74-71—288
Bud Lintelman, PGA (Purcellville), 73-73-72-70—288
Chip Sullivan, PGA (Troutville), 71-69-73-75—288
a – Austin Gray (Midlothian), 67-74-72-76—289
Jimmy Flippen Jr. (Danville), 71-74-73-71—289
Jason Toryk, PGA (Winchester), 74-73-72-70—289
Tim White, PGA (Midlothian), 71-73-73-72—289
a – Wade Wawner (Virginia Beach), 75-71-69-75—290
a – Paul Woodson (Powhatan), 71-74-71-74—290
a – Jeffrey Topp (Fairfax), 73-71-74-73—291
Tony Bostic (Vienna), 71-71-73-76—291
Steve Pierce (Bristow), 70-72-77-72—291
a – Jeff Long (Centreville), 72-73-76-71—292
Tim Crumrine (Richmond), 71-75-74-72—292
Tommy Joyce, PGA (Salem), 76-68-75-73—292
John O'Leary, PGA (Chantilly), 73-74-72-73—292
Dean Sumner, PGA (Callao), 73-74-71-74—292
a – Glenn Mullian (Richmond), 69-72-76-76—293
Mike Gooden, PGA (Harrisonburg), 72-75-70-76—293
Cary Sciorra, PGA (Gainesville), 69-76-71-77—293
Jerel Whiting (Martinsville), 73-75-71-74—293
a – Phil Mahone (Charlottesville), 74-72-74-74—294
a – Zack Henry (Front Royal), 72-73-77-73—295
John Stone, PGA (Newport News), 76-69-76-74—295
a – Josh Apple (Lansdowne), 72-73-72-79—296
Bryan Jackson, PGA (Palmyra), 72-71-73-80—296
Brendan McGrath, PGA (Centreville), 73-73-70-80—296
a – Matthew Neely (Monterey), 72-76-75-73—296
a – Chad Mozingo (Culpeper), 75-71-76-75—297
a – Allen Barber (Yorktown), 72-75-72-78—297
a – Jeff Newman (Midlothian), 76-71-70-80—297
Kenneth Roseberry (Leesburg), 71-74-72-80—297
Mike Morrone, PGA (Richmond), 74-72-77-75—298
Michael Ferguson, PGA (Glen Allen), 73-75-78-72—298
a – Starell Cox (Chesterfield), 73-75-75-77—300
a – Jim McGuire (Haymarket), 71-76-74-79—300
a – Adam Frank (Midlothian), 73-75-72-81—301
Ralph Reahard, PGA (Richmond), 75-73-75-78—301
a – Jay Zapko (Glen Allen), 71-77-81-77—306
a – Andy Heye (Centreville), 73-73-83-81—310
a – Wayne Hall (Fredericksburg), 74-74-WD
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