Austin Rose (Twitter photo)
HATTIESBURG, MS (July 8, 2018) - Mississippi State rising senior Austin Rose and defending champion Cecil Wegener were locked in a final round duel on Sunday at the Magnolia Amateur.
Rose and Wegener, a rising Ole Miss sophomore, were tied at 6-under with six holes remaining and from there a race to finish at Hattieburg Country Club was on. The two matched scores from Nos. 13-17 with pars on the 13th and 14th holes, a birdie on the 15th, bogeys on the 16th and then birdies again on No. 17.
After the birdies on the 17th both players stood on the tee of the 54th hole tied at 7-under. With the suspense as high as it had been all day the Mississippi State Bulldog rose to the occasion birdieing the final hole while Wegener bogeyed the hole resulting in an 8-under and two-stroke victory for Rose.
Rose, rounds of 68-67-70, took the lead in the second round but let the field right back in on Sunday with a slow start that included a two bogey, no birdie 2-over 37 on the front nine. On the second nine Rose settled in as he birdied four holes and bogeyed just once for a 3-under 33. Rose's second nine finish included three birdies in the final four holes.
Rose for the week played the front nine in level-par and the second nine in 8-under.
Wegener started the final round one shot off the pace before pulling in front early in the day thanks to a bogey-free 1-under 34 on the opening nine. Overall Wegener birdied three-times and bogeyed three-times for an even-par 71 to go along with rounds of 68-68 on rounds one and two.
Illinois' Brendan O'Reilly closed in 2-under 69 to finish third at 5-under, Chad Sewell of UT San Antonio was fourth at 4-under while Charlie Miller of Ole Miss was fifth at 3-under.
The round of the tournament was carded on Sunday by Illinois' Varun Chopra who shot a 5-under 65. Chopra carded rounds of 74-72 in the first two rounds before jumping to 2-under and a tie for sixth.
In the final round Chopra birdied eight-times and bogeyed twice.
ROUND TWO RECAP
An SEC rivalry is set to play out on the golf course for the final round of the 2018 Magnolia Amateur at Hattieburg Country Club, with a Mississippi State Bulldog and an Ole Miss Rebel separating themselves from the field in Saturday's second round.
The leader is Austin Rose, a Mississippi State rising senior who overcame a poor start to post a 4-under 67 and finish 36 holes at 7-under 135. Rose bogeyed two holes early but came back with six birdies, four on the back nine, to ascend to the top of the leaderboard.
Just one shot back is Ole Miss rising sophomore Cecil Wegener, who shot a second-straight 68 to sit one shot behind Rose at 6 under. Last year, Wegener held off two players by a single shot to notch his first big amateur win, and the confidence from that victory should be on his side as he tries to catch Rose in the final round.
Related: Magnolia Amateur: Cecil Wegener records a 1-stroke victory
“I love that spot – chasing,” said Wegener to the Hattiesburg American. “Everything’s feeling really good right now so I’m looking forward to trying to win this thing. The mindset this year is expecting to win. I mean, you’re not going to win every time. I won last year so I just want to come back and defend.”
The gap between Wegener and the rest of the field is three shots. Three players -- Alabama State Amateur champion Matt Lorenz (Southern Miss), Brandan O'Reilly (Illinois), and Jack Gnam (Ole Miss commit) -- are tied for third at 3 under.
Five more players are tied for sixth at 2 under..
The final round is set for Sunday morning, with the first group teeing off at 7:30 a.m.
ROUND ONE RECAP
Rising West Virginia sophomore Logan Perkins signed for a 5-under 66 to take the first round lead at the Magnolia Amateur.
Perkins was a bit sluggish out of the gates beginning with three pars and a bogey but once he found his grove there was no slowing down. The first birdie of the day was carded on the 5th hole at Hattiesburg Country Club to return to Perkins to level-par.
A short time later Perkins rolled in birdies on the 8th and 9th holes to reach red figures and turn in 2-under 33 before keeping the stretch of stellar golf going with three more birdies on the second nine. Following the 1-over through four hole start Perkins played the last 14 holes in a bogey-free 6-under.
Matt Lorenz (Southern Miss) is in second place at 4-under thanks in large part to a three birdies in five hole closing run while five others are in a share of third at 3-under.
In all 21 players turned in sub-par rounds on Friday.
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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