Brett Barron (GSGA photo)
ATHENS, GA (July 15, 2018) - Brett Barron of Suwanee maintained the lead throughout the final round despite chargers from the last few groups to win the 97th Georgia Amateur Championship. This state championship took place July 12-15.
Barron's total of 9-under-par 271 was four strokes better than Alex Ross of Atlanta's 5-under-par 275 (67-68-68), who earned runner-up honors. The 20-year-old began the final round with a three-stroke advantage and ended the day with a four-stroke victory. He made 12 birdies over the first three rounds (54 holes). On Sunday, he had a steady 2-under-par 68 bogey-free outing to hold all others back.
Grant Sutliff of Cumming finished third at 4-under-par 276 (71-64-73-68). Two players, Jack Hall of Savannah (71-66-69-71) and David Denham of Athens (70-69-68-70), tied for fourth at 3-under-par 277. Park Brady of St. Simons Island (73-69-66-70) and Tyler Gruca of Alpharetta (73-71-63-71) both finished at 2-under-par 278 to tie for sixth. Rounding out the top 10 were three individuals at 1-under-par 279, including Preston Topper of Duluth (67-71-68-73), Taylor Smith of Covington (67-74-70-68) and Ryan Stachler of Alpharetta (67-72-72-68).
Barron is a rising junior at Georgia Southern University, where he is a member of the golf team. A Suwanee native, he attended Lambert High School. This was the second time Ross finished as the runner-up in a GSGA championship held at Athens Country Club. He also finished second in 2016 when the Georgia Junior Championship was held in the Classic City.
There were a pair of aces that happened over the course of the 72-hole competition. On Saturday, John Lichtenwalner of Cumming recorded a hole-in-one 158-yard par 3 17th hole to finish tied for 28th at 6-over-par 286 (73-72-69-72). Tim Arnoult of Roswell recorded his ace on the 176-yard par 3 eighth hole on Sunday. He finished the competition tied for 20th at 3-over-par 283 (79-68-67-69).
There were six past Georgia Amateur Championship winners competing in this year's event. Four made the 36-hole cut. David Denham of Athens, who won the last time it was held at Athens Country Club in 2004, finished this year tied for fourth at 3-under-par 277 (70-69-68-70). Two-time winner in 2003 at Pinetree Country Club in Marietta and 2011 at Cherokee Town & Country Club in Atlanta, David Noll, Jr., of Dalton, tied for 11th this year at even-par 280 (72-67-73-68). Rick Cloninger of McDonough won his state championship in 1999 and in 2018 tied for 43rd at 9-over-par 289 (76-68-70-75). Another two-time champion is Lee Knox of St. Simons Island, who collected his titles in 2010 (The Landings Club-Deer Creek in Savannah) and 2012 (Ansley Golf Club-Settindown Creek in Roswell), finished in a tie for 52nd at 14-over-par 294 (75-72-74-73).
This marked the seventh time Athens Country Club has hosted the Georgia Championship over the 97 times it has been played, and first since 2004. It also played host in 1950, 1958, 1964, 1972 and 1992. Seventy-five players advanced to the weekend after making the 36-hole cut at 7-over-par 147 and better.
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ABOUT THE Georgia Amateur
A field of 144 of the state's best will compete
over 72 holes of stroke play with the field cut to
the low 70 and ties after 36 holes.
Open to male amateur golfers; non-exempt
through one of 11 statewide qualifiers
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