Magnolia Amateur winner Cecil Wegener
HATTIESBURG, MS (July 9, 2017) -- Cecil Wegener
is spending the summer playing amateur golf as the Jackson, Miss. high school golf standout readies himself for freshman year at Ole Miss.
Rebel coach Chris Malloy has got to like the play out of his recruit, who picked up his biggest career victory today at the Magnolia Amateur at Hattiesburg Country Club. And he did so playing the final group, overcoming a one stroke deficit to Levi Valadez heading into today's round to win by a single shot.
"Yes, there were some nerves," admitted Wegener, whose previous biggest wins were high school and junior events and the Jackson CC club championship. "I was leading by two shots heading into the [par-5] 17th, and knew I had to make birdie there, and sure enough after I did Levi matched me."
Levi Valadez, who was on the downside of the 3-shot swing on the par three seventh, wasn't going down without a fight.
After both players hit the final green in regulation, he holed a 30-foot birdie putt right in front of Wegener, who had an 8-foot look of his own for birdie.
"I didn't know how we stood relative to the field, but when that putt went in mine got a little longer," said Wegener.
He gave his putt a good chance, but it narrowly missed. When he tapped in for par, he sealed the victory over both Valadez (final round 72) and Pryce Beshoory (final round 69) both players shot 5-under for the 54-hole event. Beshoory, who plays for Houston, finished runner-up for the second straight year.
Looking back to that all-important 7th hole, it is a 200 yard par-3 with the pin tucked just 4 paces from the left edge and on the precipice of a slope. Wegener hit a shot he will remember for a long time, a tight draw 6-iron that nestled to close range and allowed him to make a birdie on a hole that was playing toughest of the final round.
Meanwhile Valadez missed the green well left after pulling his tee shot, and failed to reach on his first chip. From that point, he was in even worse position, and could do no better than double-bogey.
To his credit, the birdie-birdie finish kept the heat on Wegener, and finishing out with a 30-foot putt has got to put a smile on your face.
- Ole Miss also claimed the collegiate team competition, finishing at 3-under (Wegener 6-under, Charlie Miller at 3-over)
- Tournament Director Justin Cockrell has really done an outstanding job putting this tournament on the map and growing the strength of the field in just six short years
ABOUT THE The Magnolia Amateur
The Magnolia Amateur is a limited field event of
156 players consisting of a collegiate division and
a mid-amateur division. The field will be cut to
the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes of
competition has been completed. The overall
champion may come from either division, with the
competition taking place over 3 days and 54
Along with the individual tournament, there is a
college team competition that will be based on
the combined scores of two players on the same
team over the 3 rounds.
It is an exclusive amateur tournament, where
players are reviewed and accepted by the
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