Thomas Walsh (Virginia Athletics photo)
LEWISTON, N.Y. (July 21, 2018) – Thomas Walsh
knows what it’s like to be the one chasing. Now, he knows what it’s like to be the one setting the pace, too. After four rounds in the 60s at Niagara Falls Country Club, Walsh is a Porter Cup champion.
Walsh took the 36-hole lead at the prestigious amateur event and ran with it. Even as players shuffled beneath him, Walsh remained steady at the top. The High Point, N.C., native put together rounds of 69-65-67-68 for an 11-under 269 total that left him three shots ahead of runners-up Tyler Strafaci
, Blake Windred and Ben Schlottman
Last week, Walsh was in that position. He contended at the Players Amateur, then in a final push for the title, put together a course-record 62 in the final round. Ultimately, it was too little, too late. Walsh was still six shots behind winner John Augenstein, but he recognized the importance of the experience.
Walsh becomes the second University of Virginia player to win this title, joining 2015 champion Denny McCarthy. Walsh also won the individual title at the ACC Championship in the spring. The momentum ebbed between that title and his Players Am run, but Walsh is moving in the right direction again.
“I had a good college (season),” Walsh told the Niagara Gazette after the third round. “I took some time off after college, kind of got into some bad habits, but I’ve been really grinding lately. … It turned the corner in the Players Am in the final round and I’ve been kind of feeding off that since.”
Niagara Falls Country Club seemed to be a little bit more forgiving each day. The field averaged just slightly over par in Round 4, at 71.26.
Each of Walsh’s three closest pursuers went bogey-free through the first 15 holes, and each had a bogey in one of the closing three holes. Windred had the best round with 5-under 65, and his included an eagle at the par-4 14th. Strafaci, a rising Georgia Tech junior who missed the cut at the U.S. Open by two shots last month, and Schlottman, the Auburn player who led this championship after a first-round 65, had 66. Schlottman won the North & South Amateur earlier this summer.
Eoin Leonard of Dalkey, Ireland, was solo fifth at 6-under. Australian Shae Wools-Cobb
started the day three shots behind Walsh in second but had his highest round of the week on Sunday – a 1-over 71. He ended the tournament at 5 under and part of a four-man tie for sixth that also included Austin Hitt
, Kevin O’Connell
and Scott Harvey
ABOUT THE Porter Cup
One of the premier amateur events in the
nation, this 72-hole stroke play invitational has
extra activities that give this event a special
The winning player receives a green blazer, as
invitation to the Master of the Amateurs
tournament in Melbourne, Australia. Pre-
tournament qualifying is a few weeks prior to the
approximately five spots are available. The
field is open to the
first 90 entrants with handicaps less than 3.
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