By Matthew Goricki
SAVANNAH, GA., July 24,
2011 – Taylor Floyd and
Buck Williams were both tired after 54 holes of
golf over a three-day span in unrelenting heat
at the Wilmington Island Club.
And neither player expected to play six
playoff holes Sunday to decide the winner of
the Oglethorpe Invitational, the area’s
premier amateur tournament.
Floyd outlasted Williams, winning the third
sudden-death hole by two strokes to take the
Floyd and Williams both finished the
regulation 54 holes with a six-under and Floyd
took the six playoff holes by two shots.
“It was pretty tiring,” Floyd
said. “I wish we could have played
better during the playoff holes. I’m glad
it’s over with.”
Floyd, a Macon native and senior golfer at
Augusta State University, finally took control
on No. 17, the last of the day’s
The difference on the par 4 hole came
during each player’s second shot as
Floyd placed the ball just beyond the green.
Williams’ shot landed in a sand trap
short of the green, and his third shot was just
outside another sand trap.
Williams double-bogeyed on his second
putt for a two-over, and Floyd converted his
second putt, giving him a par and the win.
“You can’t ever predict a six-
hole playoff,” Floyd said. “It was
a lot of fun.”
Williams, a New Orleans resident, missed a
putt for birdie on the final regulation hole of
the day, a shot that would have given him the
But Floyd, 21, also had a chance to win a
few minutes later as he too had a chance to
make a birdie putt from nine feet away.
Following each player’s par
performance on the final hole, a three-hole
playoff ensued, beginning on 14.
Each player bogeyed on the par 5 hole, but
Floyd ended No. 17 with a one-stroke lead as
he made par and Williams bogeyed.
On Hole 18, the final of the three-hole
playoff, Floyd converted a par and Williams
birdied, sending the showdown to a sudden-
death hole on 17.
Each player hit par and they then matched
pars on Hole 18 before the final showdown on
the return to No. 17.
“I played great today,”
Williams said. “I was just worn out after
18 holes. During the playoff, we both played
sloppy. With the heat it was tough after
getting 18 holes in. It caught me off guard in
the playoff. We both had chances.”
Floyd, a member of the back-to-back
championship golf teams at Augusta State,
was playing in his second Oglethorpe
“Just to play well was my
goal,” Floyd said. “I didn’t
play well (toward the end of the college
season). I had to get back into the groove. I
wasn’t trying to win.”
Floyd shot a two-under, 69 in all three
rounds before the playoff.
Williams, 29, shot one over during the
opening day, but bounced back with a four-
under in the second round before shooting
three under in the final round.
For Williams, the Oglethorpe Invitational
was his first tournament since 2005, a
professional event he played in a year after he
graduated from Wake Forest with a business
degree. His last amateur tournament was in
2004, and he regained his amateur status in
“I had no expectations,”
Williams said. “I hadn’t played a
round of golf in nearly a year, August until
June. I was pretty surprised. It was fun playing
against the college guys.”
Caulder Moore of Isle of Palms, South
Carolina finished third with a 4-under, and
Savannah native Brendan Gillins and
Orlando’s Joey Petronio tied for fourth
Sea Island resident Jack Hall, the 2010
champion, was the only senior who made the
cut, giving him the senior title with a seven-
The tournament drew 128 players, with
participants from countries as far away as
South Africa, Kenya, Malaysia, Thailand and