Derek Bard, the 2017 Monroe Invitational Champion
By Art Stricklin for AmateurGolf.com
PITTSFORD, NY (June 10, 2017) -- Derek Bard sank a clutch 10-foot par putt on the final hole at Monroe Golf Club to win the 2017 Monroe Invitational Saturday.
The recently graduated University of Virginia golfer charged from the middle of the pack on a windy final round, but made his final hole count while others fell back.
He finished with a final round 67-274 total for a one-shot victory over five amateur golfers: Lloyd Jefferson Go, Chris Petefish, Joey Savoie, Chase Johnson and third round leader Rhett Rasmussen who all finished at 275.
Bard, who grew up 90 miles east in New Hartford and has played in the tournament two other times, said he was unaware of his chance to win before the final hole.
“I didn’t see a scoreboard, but I put my drive in the fairway bunker on 18. I came up short of the green, but got up and down, making a 10-footer for par. Somebody came up to me and said I was in the lead after that. I’m really glad I made that putt.”
He retreated to the spacious clubhouse at Monroe Golf Club to wait and see what would happen in the tense final day. Petefish, a Georgia Tech golfer, who lead much of the final day bogeyed the par 4 18th to fall out of the top spot on the leaderboard,Rasmussen bogeyed two of the last three holes and failed to birdie 18 to hand the prestigious Monroe Invitational title to Bard, who has spent much of his amateur career here.
“This means so much to me having played this classic Donald Ross design so many times and growing up close to here. What a way to cap my amateur chances here at the Monroe Invitational. If you look at all the great amateurs who have won here, it’s just amazing.”
He plans to stay an amateur through the remainder of the summer to take advance of an epic stretch of top-flight amateur events, hopefully qualifying for the U.S. Amateur in August and then turn pro in September for Web.com qualifying school.
“I know a lot of people here from all the times I’ve played in the past. It’s a world class event and a Donald Ross course. What a way to win,” Bard added.
Both Lloyd Jefferson Go from Seton Hall and Peterson shot a closing 67 under windy final round conditions. Savoie, from Middle Tennessee University, also had a 67, but failed to close the deal on the final three holes at Monroe. Rasmussen, who just finished this freshman year at BYU, ran into early trouble with a double bogey on the second hole, and trailed at the nine-hole turn to Petefish, who shot a front nine 32. Rasmussen finished with a final day 73, four over-par, to finish one shot out of the lead.
ABOUT THE Monroe Invitational
Small-field invitational event played on a great
par 70 Donald Ross course. 72 hole stroke play
championship dates back to 1937. No cut. Once
the final field is determined by the MIC
Selection Committee, official invitations will be
issued. To apply for an invitation, visit the
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