Ben Schlottman fends off Kennerly for Palmetto Amateur win
Winner Ben Schlottman fired a final round 66
Winner Ben Schlottman fired a final round 66

AIKEN, S.C. (June 13, 2015) — Ben Schlottman just finished his freshman year at Auburn University. He capped off the conference regular season with a runner-up finish at the SEC Championship, leading to the program's first All- America honor for a freshman in school history.

Now, thanks to a final-round 66 at Palmetto Golf Club, Schlottman attached a big win to his resume heading into this sophomore campaign at Auburn.

After posting a bogey-free 64 on Thursday to take the second round lead, Schlottman fell to three back Friday when he recorded his only over-par round of the tournament, a 73 that included more bogeys than he made in the other three rounds combined.

In today's final round, the Advance, N.C. native went out in 33, and he knew things were looking good.

"I played really solid on front nine, making a 30-footer for birdie on 3 and a 10-footer for birdie on 5," Schlottman told AuburnTigers.com. "When you get through the front nine even par or better, you have a chance to have a really good round, and I knew I had a chance to do some damage."

Sure enough, Schlottman finished strong with a back-nine 33 to win by two shots over Billy Kennerly.

Kennerly, who just graduated from Clemson University, fired 65 in the fourth round to stay close on Schlottman's tail, but even his strong finish -- including three birdies in his final five holes -- couldn't keep up with the winner.

In third place was Dane Burkhart of Aiken. He displayed one of two impressive mid-amateur performances in a field stacked with collegiate and junior talent. Burkhart's three straight under-par rounds, highlighted by a second-round 65, pushed the former professional golfer to a tie for third place with University of South Carolina junior Sean Kelly.

Burkhart, 30, shot a 59 in the final round of the 2005 Palmetto Amateur (he won) then turned pro. Now, he has his site on making the Walker Cup team.

Burkhart told the Augusta Chronicle:

“In the years to come, I’d like to play more. The Walker Cup is something that remains on my radar. …We’ll see what happens. Who knows?”

Todd White of Spartanburg, S.C., tied for fifth place to further his Walker Cup credentials. In March, White won the Azalea Invitational, and in May he teamed with fellow 2013 Walker Cup team member Nathan Smith to win the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.

Third-round leader Austin Langdale of Clemson University triple-bogeyed the fifth hole on Saturday and set the tone for his final round. He struggled to a 76 and tied for fifth place alongside White and Florida Gator golfer JD Tomlinson.

Defending champion Emmanuel Kountakis, a Mercer University freshman, tied for 16th place in his attempt at a repeat.


The Palmetto Amateur was founded in 1976 by Dr. Berry Crain, Jr. and Skipper Perry. Gene McClure, a USGA rules official, longtime Palmetto member and past Executive Committee member, spoke to players on the eve of the 2015 tournament, the first one to be played without Crain (who passed away in early 2015) at the helm. The 2015 champion will be the first to lift a new piece of hardware at Palmetto – the Berry Crain, Jr. Memorial Trophy, a sterling silver cup in memory of Dr. Crain.

Said McClure: “It came from England as a memorial, and now it is a memorial to the great Berry Crain and to the strength of this golf championship that he and my good friend Skipper Perry created 40 years ago,” said McClure. “Berry Crain did so much for Palmetto Golf Club.”

Next year, Dr. Crain's son Brad, who grew up working at Palmetto Golf Club and now manages a bank in Aiken, will take the helm of the tournament.

Results: Palmetto Amateur
1NCBen SchlottmanAdvance, NC70069-64-73-66=272
2GABilly KennerlyAlpharetta, GA50066-69-74-65=274
T5FLJ.D. TomlinsonGainesville, FL40066-73-69-71=279
T3NYSean KellyStaten Island, NY40071-68-67-71=277
T5SCTodd WhiteSpartanburg, SC40067-70-74-68=279

View full results for Palmetto Amateur

ABOUT THE Palmetto Amateur

72-hole stroke play event held on a classic Alister MacKenzie design. The field of 84 is selected from applicants based on handicap, participation in amateur golf events and competitive record, in previous Palmetto Amateurs and other amateur tournaments.

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