Bryce Hendrix (center) with John Roy and Brad Crain (Kyle Dawson/Aiken Standard photo)
AIKEN, SC (June 9, 2018) - Bryce Hendrix (Greensboro, NC) found out, like so many before him, that following up a low round isn't always easy.
The UNCG rising senior rode a front-nine 28 to a 62 on Friday that gave him a two-shot lead going into the final round. And while he did exactly what every leader wants to do staring the final round--making birdie on the 1st--he would quickly reverse direction and have to try to hang on.
Related: Palmetto Amateur: Front-Nine 28 Sparks Hendrix
A double at the 3rd was followed by a bogey at the 4th. A birdie at the 5th slowed the retreat only temporarily, as three straight bogeys would follow.
Meanwhile Auburn's Trace Crowe had gone out in 3-under 31, picking up seven shots on Hendrix and sitting only one off of his lead.
"After the front nine, I told myself I hadn't shot myself out of it yet," said Hendrix to the Aiken Standard. "I knew I was rolling it good, so I just needed to give myself some more birdie opportunities and just get on the putting green. I didn't really do that that well on the front nine."
Hendrix steadied himself with birdies on 10 and 12 but dropped another shot at 13. Up ahead, Crowe was making his fifth birdie of the day at the par-5 14th, pulling him into a tie for the lead.
As he walked past the clubhouse to the 16th tee, Hendrix saw the leaderboard that showed that he was still tied. Three pars later, Hendrix walked off the green thinking he and Crowe would play off. What he didn't know, however, was that Crowe had bogeyed the long par-3 16th.
According to Kyle Dawson of the Aiken Standard, when told that he had won, Hendrix was "shocked" but obviously delighted to pick up his first amateur victory.
Hendrix finished with a 3-over 73 for a 6-under 274 total. Crowe (66) finished one shot back, along with the hard-charging Tripp French (Camden, SC), a recent University of Dayton graduate, nearly forcing a playoff for real before bunkering his approach at the last.
Alex Hamilton, the Wofford College coach who shot 62 in his first Palmetto Amateur round in 13 years to take the first-round lead, shot a 73 to finish tied for seventh at 1 under.
The defending champion Bobby Bai (Lake Mary, FL) struggled to a 75 to finish in a tie for 14th, while 2015 winner Ben Schlottman (Advance, NC) shot 69 to finish 10th.
It is a testament to Palmetto Golf Club that, in this day and age of long hitters and advances in technology, the sub-7000 yard course held the winner to a score of 6 under, with only 9 players finishing under par for 72 holes.
ABOUT THE Palmetto Amateur
72-hole stroke play event held on a classic
MacKenzie design. The field of 84 is
applicants based on handicap, participation
amateur golf events and competitive
previous Palmetto Amateurs and other
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