AJ Ott (Southern GA/Twitter photo)
The Southern Amateur came down to the very last minute, and neither of the men who had taken up residence at the top of the leaderboard throughout the week ended up with the trophy. Instead, Coloradoan AJ Ott, which a final-round 67, swept in for a last-minute victory at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock, Ark.
Ott, who will be a senior at Colorado State this year, opened with rounds of 70-73, but worked hard to get back in it over the last 36 holes. He finished 64-67, and at 10 under, was tied with Washington’s Noah Woolsey when regulation ended.
“Today was a nice day, got off to a nice start and birdied the first two holes. Made a few bad swings early but made some nice putts to make up for it,” Ott said. “Got to the back nine and was feeling a little bit of pressure and was able to make some nice birdies on the par 5s. Bogeyed 18 but kind of had to wait it out.”
Ott had to wait around at the end of the day because he had gone out in the fourth-to-last group on Saturday. Still, he only needed two extra holes against Woolsey. Ott birdied the second one to win.
It was generally a low-scoring day across the board. In addition to Ott’s 67, Woolsey had a final-round 69. Turk Pettit, of Sugar Grove, N.C., climbed to solo sixth with a 66 and Pinehurst, N.C., native Eric Bae had a 65 to get into a tie for seventh. Bae had the low round of the day.
Walker Lee, who had been in control of this event for much of the week, couldn’t seem to get much going, and despite a 2-under 34 on the back, closed in even-par 71. He tied for third at 9 under with Wilson Furr and Philip Barbaree.
Ott’s only other amateur start this summer was at the Southwestern Amateur. He finished runner-up there. During the college season, Ott was in the top 5 at the Mountain West Championship and the top 10 at the Western Intercollegiate. He is currently ranked No. 296 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
ABOUT THE Southern Amateur
The Southern Amateur, which dates back to 1902, is
one of two competitions held by the Southern Golf
Association (the other is the Southern Junior). This
is a 72-hole stroke play championship with a cut
made after 36 holes. Entries are open to any male
amateur golfer who has a current USGA Handicap
Index® not exceeding 3.4 under the USGA Handicap
System. Non-exempt players must pre-qualify at
one of the qualifying sites held across the southern
U.S. in the two months leading up to the
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