Justin Young Stays out of His Own Way, Wins Virginia MidAm
Justin Young, the 2017 VSGA Mid-Amateur champion<br>(VSGA photo)
Justin Young, the 2017 VSGA Mid-Amateur champion
(VSGA photo)

WILLIAMSBURG, VA (September 17, 2017) — If Justin Young had any nerves during Sunday’s third and final round of the 41st VSGA Mid-Amateur Championship at Williamsburg Golf Club, they were soothed considerably when he got up and down from a tricky spot on No. 2 for a crucial par save.

At that point, John Rosenstock, who was playing in the final grouping with Young and Keith Decker, got the feeling that Young was going to be hard to catch.

Related: Virginia Mid-Am: Decker, Young Tied with One Round to Go

“It became apparent pretty early on that he wasn’t going to give it away,” Rosenstock said. “He was playing so solid.”

Young, the first-round leader and second-round co-leader, stayed in control Sunday, keeping the field at arm’s length all afternoon. He posted a 2-under-par 70 and finished with a three-day aggregate 207 to win the championship by four strokes over runners-up Rosenstock and Scott Shingler.

The victory was Young’s second in a VSGA championship. He won the final edition of the VSGA Public Links Championship in 2013. Young also was the low amateur at the 2015 Delta Dental State Open of Virginia and was the VSGA’s men’s golfer of the year in 2015.

The win in the Mid-Amateur, a tournament for players ages 25 and older that Young considers one of the state’s four majors, was especially sweet.

“It feels a lot better than I thought it would, let’s just say that,” he said.

Young (Ballyhack GC) opened the day tied with Keith Decker (Chatmoss CC). A disastrous start doomed Decker’s chance of adding a 29th VSGA title to his resume. He was 7 over through seven holes and quickly fell out of contention.

On the par-3 5th hole, Decker’s tee shot plugged hard in a greenside bunker, just below the lip. When Decker tried to extricate it, the ball popped straight into the air and bounced off the top of his head. That bad break cost Decker a penalty stroke under Rule 19-2 and was emblematic of his extremely tough day. He posted a 7-over 79 and finished tied for 11th.

Rosenstock (Elizabeth Manor G&CC) again struck the ball well and put himself in position to make a run at Young, but as was the case in Saturday’s second round, he struggled to convert on the greens. His final-round 72 included two birdies and two bogeys.

“I’m proud of myself for hanging in there and hitting it well despite having trouble on the greens,” Rosenstock said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever lipped out that many times in one round. But I just tried to enjoy it coming down the stretch and finish strong. Nothing to be ashamed of.”

Shingler (Dominion Valley CC) finished with two birdies and one bogey for a 1-under 71, but he never made a serious charge at Young. McLain Leberte (Farmington CC), who finished fourth, tried to close in on Young on the back nine, back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12 pulling him within three shots of the lead. But consecutive bogeys on 15 and 16 ended that run. Leberte posted a three-day 212, five back of Young.

Roger Newsom (Elizabeth Manor G&CC), Lee Fisher (Poplar Grove GC) and Daryl Chappell (CC of Petersburg) each finished at 213 to tie for fifth. The top five and ties from the Mid-Amateur earned exemptions into the 2018 VSGA Amateur Championship. Chappell and Jeff Long (Evergreen CC) tied for the low round of the day, each returning a 4-under 68. Long finished in a tie for eighth.

Young missed the Amateur this year due to work conflicts, but he plans on using his exemption to play in next year’s event at The Federal Club. After an up-and-down summer where he struggled to find time to play, everything came together at Williamsburg Golf Club for Young, who said his goal on Sunday was to “stay out of his own way.”

“You want to win state events,” Young said. “You want to represent your state. This win, it’s up there for sure.”

View results for VSGA Mid-Amateur

54-hole stroke play competition (18 holes per day), with the field being cut to the low 45 and ties for the final round. Open to VSGA members who will be at least 25 years of age holding an active GHIN number issued by a licensed VSGA Member Club in good standing.

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