Dogwood Invitational: Poole Gets Biggest Win, Validation
The top 3: Ashton Poole (L), Chandler Eaton, S.M. Lee
The top 3: Ashton Poole (L), Chandler Eaton, S.M. Lee

By Stan Awtrey

ATLANTA, GA (June 9, 2018) - Ashton Poole might not have been in the position to win the 52nd Dogwood Invitational if it hadn’t been for an old friend back in Charlottesville, Va.

Poole got a little nudge to get in the field a year ago from former U.S. Amateur and British Amateur champion Vinny Giles, who had been a two-time winner of the Dogwood.

“When a former champion calls, you listen to what they have to say,” said Dogwood Tournament Chairman Edward Toledano.

With a boost from Giles, Poole got in the field a year ago and missed the cut by two shots. This year he returned and scorched the field for a four-shot win. Poole, a native of Charlotte who will be a junior at Virginia in the fall, had rounds of 69-66-64-67 for a 22-under 266.

Giles, who played at the University of Georgia and attended law school at Virginia, was a two-time winner of the Dogwood (1963 and 1965) and requested a spot for young friend a year ago.

“Vinny is a buddy of mine and he helped me get in the tournament,” Poole said. “To win the same tournament that Vinny won, with his career, means so much.”

Chandler Eaton, a junior at Duke, shot a 65 on Saturday and made a valiant push. He finished alone in second at 18-under 280, one shot better than Palmer Cup player S.M. Lee of Dalton State, who closed with a 68 and finished 17-under.

“I’m super proud,” Eaton said. “I didn’t really know where I was at the end. I knew I was doing really good. I knew I was making putts and hitting fairways and that adds up in the end.”

Jacob Solomon of Auburn and William Nottingham of Clemson tied for fourth. Solomon finished with a 69 and Nottingham shot 72, as the pair finished at 15-under 273.

Poole had a three-shot lead at the turn, but saw it dwindle to one after Eaton made a birdie at the par-4 16th hole. But the tide turned quickly; Poole birdied the 16th and minutes later Eaton doubled the 17th, restoring Poole’s three-shot lead.

Poole said he was nervous, despite the big lead coming down the stretch.

“It’s by far the biggest win of my career,” Poole said. “I was nervous. At some point on the first tee, I’m thinking, ‘I’m good, I’m good.’ And when I teed the ball up and stood up, I couldn’t feel my legs. So anyone who says they’re not nervous coming down the stretch with the lead is lying. You just have to stick to your game plan and play to your strengths.”

The defending champion Lloyd Jefferson Go of the Philippines shot a 72 to finish T35 at 1 under.

Guilford College coach Justin Tereshko was the low mid-amateur, finishing in a tie for 8th at 12-under 276.

Canadian mid-amateur Garrett Rank, who will compete in next week's U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, closed with a 70 to finish 34th at 2 under.

Related: VIDEO: U.S. Open Qualifier, and NHL Referee Garrett Rank

Results: Dogwood Invitational
1NCAshton PooleCharlotte, NC100069-66-64-67=266
2GAChandler EatonAlpharetta, GA70069-67-69-65=270
3GAS.M. LeeBuford, GA50069-64-70-68=271
T4CAJacob SolomonDublin, CA50066-70-68-69=273
T4TNWilliam NottinghamKingsport, TN50067-69-65-72=273

View full results for Dogwood Invitational

ABOUT THE Dogwood Invitational

Tournament week is June 6-11 at Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. The entry fee includes breakfast and lunch tournament days as well as special events.

The history of this prestigious event extends back to 1941, when legendary amateur Tommy Barnes captured his first of five Dogwood titles. Evolving with the times, the modern Dogwood has produced fine champions like Webb Simpson (’07), Brian Harman (’09), Dawson Armstrong (’15), and in 2019 Brandon Mancheno. This evolution can be seen also in our course renovations and set-up, our relaxed tournament atmosphere, and our spirit of social responsibility.

Players are required to walk during tournament play and may carry their golf bag themselves (push carts are allowed) or take a caddie. Caddies may be requested in advance during registration, or players may select one on their own.

Player housing is provided on an as available basis to players only, caddies and traveling companions are not provided housing.

View Complete Tournament Information

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