Brooks Rabren (Jeronimo Nisa/Decatur Daily photo)
DECATUR, AL (July 9, 2018) - Brooks Rabren
(Andalusia, AL) made history at the 51st Spirit of America Classic on Sunday, becoming the first player since 1989 to successfully defend his title. Rabren did so in comeback fashion, erasing a three-shot deficit entering the day with a final-round 3-under 68 at Burningtree Country Club.
Decatur mid-amateur Matt Gourgeot was the overnight leader but dropped four shots on the front nine. Rabren, going out in 1 under, took the lead after the 8th hole and held it the rest of the way.
The rising South Alabama senior was the only player in the field to shoot all four rounds in the 60s, finishing with a 12-under 272 total (69-66-69-68).
University of Vanderbilt rising sophomore Cooper Sears (Mount Juliet, TN) closed with a 68 to finish runner-up at 10 under.
Sam Murphy (Decatur, AL) and Sylas Elliott (Hanceville, AL) tied for third 6 under, while Gourgeot fell to a tie for fifth at 5 under after a round of 78.
Clay Guerin, the Birmingham National champion who also won the Haskins Four-Ball and Alabama State Four-Ball this spring, tied for 9th at 3 under par.
Last year Rabren broke open a tight contest with a final-round 67 to take a three-shot win.
Sam Farlow was the last repeat champion of the Spirit of America, winning in 1988 and 1989.
ABOUT THE Spirit of America
The Spirit of America Golf Classic is Burningtree
Country Club's long-running, fundraising
held annually in conjunction with
Decatur’s Spirit of America Festival, which itself is
of the largest, free Fourth of July festivals in the
south. Established in 1967, this unique "college
individual" format event has been
home to collegiate players and top amateur
from across the nation. The format is 72-holes of
stroke play, with a 54-hole
collegiate team division. The "Spirit"
tournament boasts many top graduates, like 1995
Champion-turned-PGA tour player Heath Slocum,
1989 Junior Champion-turned-PGA tour player
Starting in 2020 the golf tournament will be a coed
event. The plan is to have 30 two-woman teams and
man teams. The women’s teams will be invited and
not have to pay an entry fee.
View Complete Tournament Information