Connor Messick (VSGA photo)
LANSDOWNE, VA (August 13, 2017) - The opening round Friday at The Golf Club at Lansdowne's Jones course demonstrated that the soft conditions rewarded good shots with birdies but was still tough enough to punish a bad swing.
Heading into today's third and final round, the final grouping of Rob Menefee, Jeffrey Long and Connor Messick played well enough through the first 11 holes to separate themselves from the field and reduce the championship to a three man race.
Menefee, who made 9 birdies on the Jones course Friday, led by two shots over Long and three over Messick. All three birdied the first hole with Menefee adding birdies at 2 and 4, finishing the front nine 1-under after bogies at 7 and 9. Long added a birdie at the 8th, turning in 2-under for the round and one shot behind.
Messick reeled off 8 straight pars to also turn in 1-under for the round and remained 3 back, but birdied the par-5 11th to get to within 2 of Menefee. A bogey at the 12th by Menefee brought Long into a tie and Messick within 1, setting up a stretch of three critical holes in a "reversal of fortunes" among the leaders.
On the par-3 13th, Menefee made a rare bad swing and found the water hazard left of the green - and the Jones course punished him with a double bogey. Messick took full advantage and recorded his third birdie of the day to go two up on Menefee and move into a tie with Long for the lead.
On the 14th, it was Long who made the rare bad swing, found a hazard and made double bogey. Messick 2-putted from 75 feet for par, while Menefee made bogey. The final change came on the 15th where Messick made a 30-foot putt for birdie and Long made bogey. Within that three hole stretch, Messick went from tied for the lead to four up on both of his competitors with only three holes to go.
Messick would finish with a final round 3-under 69 and an even-par total of 216. Menefee finished second with a final round 75 and a three day total of 219 while Long was third with a final round of 74 for a 220 total. Zach Henry placed fourth with 77-72-75 - 224. Former champion Rich Buckner finished in a tie for fifth with Thomas Fricke and Ryan Rettberg.
Messick graduated from Chantilly High School where they won the 2013 State title, with Messick finishing fourth individually. He will be a senior this fall at the University of Virginia where he is a member of the Cavalier's golf team. Messick stated that this will be his "last tournament of the season" as he will be returning the school next week, but he finished in style as a champion with his name on the Henry Kerfoot Trophy.
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ABOUT THE NOVA Amateur
54 holes of stroke play with 18 holes scheduled for
each day. Field will be cut to the low 40 players and
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