Garrett May (Dalton Balthaser photo)
put in the work early in the week at the Northeast Amateur and effectively built himself a final-round cushion. On Saturday, he needed it – every bit of it, in fact. May, who recently completed his senior season at Baylor, pulled off a two-shot victory but it was a nerve-wracking day at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, R.I.
May started with an uncharacteristic bogey on the first hole – which was only his third of the week. He made up for it with a birdie at No. 2, but went 5 over in the next two holes.
At that point, he only had a share of the lead after leading outright after each of the three previous rounds.
“After I lost the five-shot lead, I was reeling,” May told Dalton Balthaser for NortheastAmateur.com. “Then I thought to myself that I was still tied for the lead and they hadn’t given the trophy to anyone else yet. I just dug in and said, ‘We are going to be patient and we are going to do this.’ My lead was gone and I needed to move forward.”
May, 22, dug his heels in to finish the day. He played the remaining 14 holes in even par, which included two birdies and a double bogey at No. 17 and finished with a final-round 5-over 74. It bumped him to 7 under, which still left him at the top of the leaderboard. He became the first Baylor player ever to win this event.
May's last major tournament victory was the 2016 W.E. Cole Cotton States.
Besides struggling with his game, the weather served as another hurdle for May – and the rest of the field. Players had to take shelter for two hours during a mid-afternoon lightning storm before finishing the final round. May was about to make the turn.
“When officials first sounded the horn I was really upset because I didn’t want to come off the course because I was agitated,” May said. “But when I got around some of the guys and chilled out a little bit, I realized it was exactly what I needed. It allowed me to reset.”
Shortly after play resumed, May returned to make a 30-footer for birdie on No. 11.
Behind May, mid-amateur Stewart Hagestad
put together four rounds in the 60s to tie for second with Scott Stevens
. Behind that, Cole Hammer
made a big push up the leaderboard with a 64, the best round of the day on Saturday.
It was a major comeback for Hammer, who was 2 over entering the day – and 14 off the lead – but climbed back into contention.
“I pretty much started the day knowing I had no chance to win,” Hammer told Northeast Amateur officials at the end of the day.
Hammer tied for fourth with Trent Phillips at 3 under. A five-man tie for sixth included Australian Karl Vilips
, who tied the Wannamoisett course record of 61 in the third round, and Hammer’s Texas teammate Parker Coody
, among others.
Quotes in this article courtesy of Dalton Balthaser and NortheastAmateur.com.
ABOUT THE Northeast Amateur
The Northeast Amateur has a historic list of winners,
including Ben Crenshaw, Dustin Johnson, Collin
Scott Hoch, John Cook, Hal Sutton, and David Duval.
has been annually held at the Donald Ross-designed
Wannamoisett Country Club since 1962. The event
limited to 90 elite players; there is a cut after 54
and the entire tournament is played in twosomes.
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