JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (Oct. 9, 2011) – Brandon Nelson of Roswell won the 93rd annual Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship on his home course, Rivermont Golf and Country Club in Johns Creek. Nelson defeated Fred Rescigno, Jr., of Suwanee, 1 up, in the final match on Sunday.
Nelson, who is the reigning club champion at Rivermont Golf and Country Club, started strong as he won holes two, six, seven and eight to go 4 up through eight holes. Nelson then bogeyed the par 4 ninth hole while Rescigno saved par, giving Nelson a 3 up advantage at the turn. Rescigno recorded a five and Nelson a six on the par 5 10th hole to bring the match to 2 up in Nelson’s favor, which held for the next four holes. On the par 4 15th hole, Nelson bogeyed to drop his lead to one stroke with three holes to play.
With the momentum slowly starting to pick up in Rescigno’s corner, he turned in a key par on the par 4 16th hole to bring the match to all square. On 17, Nelson saved par and Rescigno bogeyed to give Nelson a 1 up advantage with one hole to play. Rescigno’s second shot into 18 landed in the rough just short of a greenside bunker, and all he could do from there was halve the hole with the crowd-favorite and earn runner-up honors.
Nelson’s win marks the second time in the last seven tries that when Rivermont Golf and Country Club hosts the Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship, a player wins on his home course. In 2002, Jeff Belk of Marietta beat Danny Nelson, 5 and 4, at Rivermont.
To get to the final match, Nelson picked up wins against Mel Mendenhall of Marietta (2 and 1; round of 32), Matthew Hayes of Marietta (2 up; round of 16), Mike Cromer of Peachtree Corners (3 and 1; quarterfinals) and Dave Poteet of Suwanee (1 up; semifinals). In Thursday’s stroke-play qualifying round, Nelson tied for 14th at 2-over-par 72.
Entries were open to male amateur golfers who are GSGA members. The stroke-play qualifying field consisted of the 120 entrants with the lowest USGA Handicap Indexes. Notable former champions include Perry Adair (1916), Charlie Yates (1931), Tommy Barnes (1936), Dan Yates (1942), Gene Dahlbender (1946-47, 1957-59, 1962), Bobby Jones’ son, Robert T. Jones III, (1948), Charles Harrison (1952-54, 1961, 1965, 1967-1969, 1973, 1977), Larry Mize (1979) and Danny Yates (1981-82).
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