CHARLESTON, South Carolina (March 27,
2011) -- Cheng Tsung Pan will climb further up
Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Player Rankings
after a 6-
under 65 vaulted him past third round leader
Tyler Griffin for a major victory at the Azalea
Amateur. (A story from Tommy Braswell of the
Courier will be posted shortly.)
* * *
CHARLESTON, South Carolina (March 26,
2011) -- Georgia Tech senior John-Tyler Griffin
fired a 7-under 64 Saturday at the Country
Club of Charleston, but he only made up one
stroke on 36-hole co-leader Cheng Tsung Pan
of Taiwan, who posted 65.
will be paired in Sunday's final round with
Emiliano Grillo, four strokes back of Griffin at
203. Like Cheng Tsung Pan, Grillo (of
Argentina) attends the IMG Leadbetter
Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He is a former
Callaway Junior World Champion.
Dallas Cowboys star Tony Romo was looking
like a sure thing to miss the cut and head
home after a pair of 75's; he showed he can
be a clutch player in more than one sport as
he rallied back with a 68 to make the cut, right
on the number of 218.
* * *
CHARLESTON, South Carolina (March 25, 2011)
-- Another top-notch field has assembled at
the Country Club of Charleston for the Azalea
Invitational, the cream has risen to the top
while the most famous player in the field (Tony
Romo of the Dallas Cowboys) has slid further
down the leaderboard.
Tied for the lead are current World No. 9
m Player Rankings) Cheng Tsung Pan of
Taiwan, and John-Tyler Griffin of Wilson, North
Carolina. Both players stand at 7-under 135 at
the 6600 yard, par-71 Seth Raynor design (c.
1925) that was restored by architect Brian
Silva in 2006. They are trailed by former PGA
Tour player and Clemson star John Engler of
Augusta, GA and Spencer Cole of Greer, SC
who stand at 136. In total, eight players
posted rounds in the 60's both days.
The two leaders couldn't come from
different backgrounds - Griffin is from a sleepy
North Carolina town of 50,000 people that
boasts about it's "abundance of water and fast
broadband speeds" while Pan (which is his
nickname because it's easier to say) came to
the IMG Leadbetter Academy in Bradenton in
2007 from Taiwan with no English skills and
three years later was blogging for Golfweek.
Georgia Tech senior Tyler-Griffin is no stranger
to going low in medal play - he was medalist at
the 2010 USGA Publinx Championship in
As for Tony Romo, there is no doubt that
he has the golf game to compete at this level
but this year's showing (75-75=150) puts him
in 78th place. He missed the cut in 2010, but
had top-40 finishes in both 2008 and 2009. To
view results, click the tournament link above,
or the results link at the bottom of the page.
* * *
CHARLESTON, South Carolina (March 24,
2011) -- Former champion John Engler of
Augusta and Todd Mitchell, the Illinois Mid-
Amateur champion, both shot 4-under-par 67
to tie for the first-round lead in the Azalea
Invitational at the Country Club of
They are one stroke ahead of a six-player
group tied for third at 3-under 68.
Engler, the 1997 Azalea Invitational
champion, played the PGA Tour in 2006,
amazingly earning his Tour card two-and-a-
half years after a severe auto accident which
severed his ankle so badly he wondered if he
would ever walk again.
The 27-year old native of Augusta, Georgia
earned card by finishing in a tie for 13th at Q-
school in 2005, but earnings of just over
$72,000 in the 2006 PGA Tour season were not
nearly enough to make the top 125.
On Thursday, he shot 1-under 35 on the
front side, and after making bogey at the
par-3 11th closed out with birdies at 12, 14,
15 and 16 for a back-nine 32.
Mitchell, the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-
up, was 2 under on the front nine, bogeyed
the par-4 13th and then followed that with a
birdie and eagle on the next two holes.