GULF SHORES, Ala. (June 10, 2012) -- Torrential rain washed out all but one hour and 25 minutes of play in the third round of the 96th State Amateur Championship at Kiva Dunes in Gulf Shores and it didn’t get any better on Sunday as less than an hour of play was possible in the early morning before play had to be called and 36-hole leader Andy McRae was declared the champion.
A tropical depression continued to dump rain on the oceanside course, making any meaningful play impossible.
“We had to call play a little after noon as there was just no chance of a break in the weather,” Rusty Harder, Director of Rules & Competitions for the AGA, said.
McRae (70-67–137) was declared the champion.
The former Samford golfer won by two over defending champion Smylie Kaufman of Vestavia Hills and LSU, who shot a 68, to go along with his opening round of 71, to finish on 139.
Auburn golfers Will McCurdy of Fort Payne and Cory Gilmer of Hoover also both shot 68 and finished on 142 and 143 respectively and were the only other players to finish under par.
The last time the State Amateur did not complete all 72 holes was in 1984 when Talbert Griffin III won at Montgomery Country Club after only three rounds could be completed.
“The way I look at it, everyone played the same 36 holes in similar conditions,” McRae said. “It would be easy to second guess or put an asterisk nest to my name I suppose. This is not how I wanted to win, but that can’t be helped.
“I wanted to play in the final group with the leading players and test those waters as I felt I had a really good shot (to win), but the weather just didn’t let that happen.”
McRae, who is 30, an accountant and plays golf at Hoover Country Club, has never had a srong finish before in the State Amateur.
“I played really, really solid for the two rounds we were able to play. All I ever want is to be competitive and be in contention. I very much wanted to play all four rounds, but it turned out that all we could get in was two.”
Kaufman was naturally frustrated.“The most frustrating part was that the field had already started to separate after two rounds and it looked like maybe only five or six guys could win.
“My ball striking was really solid the first two rounds, so I liked my chances as my short game is nearly always good. I felt like I would play well on the weekend, but it just wasn’t to be.”
Kaufman has a packed summer of top amateur events starting with the Sunnehanna, Greystone, Dogwood, North/South, Southern Amateur and qualifying for the U.S. Amateur.
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