Jamie Wilson (South Carolina Athletics photo)
Members of the University of South Carolina golf team seem to have a knack for Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, S.C. This spring, the Gamecocks went 27 under at the Palmetto Intercollegiate, winning by 35 shots. This week at the Palmetto Amateur, South Carolina senior Jamie Wilson walked away with the title, albeit by a much smaller margin.
Wilson, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., climbed the leaderboard with back-to-back rounds of 3-under 68 in the second half of the tournament. He finished the 72-hole tournament at 8 under.
“We set records this year and it was awesome to come back to play with all these people,” Wilson told the Augusta Chronicle
. “It really hasn’t sunk in yet, but it will. It’s very special to me.”
Wilson wasn’t the only player to get to 8 under at Palmetto. Evan Brown, a Chadds Ford, Pa., native who plays for Loyola University Maryland also finished at that number. Brown’s past 36 holes were even more impressive – he rebounded from opening rounds of 72-76 with rounds of 62-66.
In the playoff, Wilson made a 10-foot par save on the first hole, the par-3 16th, and keep it going. At the par-4 17th hole, he sunk a 15-foot birdie putt to earn a leg up. Brown then missed an 8-footer for birdie to give Wilson the championship.
Another pair of Gamecocks also had solid tournaments as rising senior Caleb Proveaux finished in a tie for third and rising sophomore Ryan Hall tied for ninth. Proveaux shot 6-under 278 and was the 36-hole leader after a second-round 66. Hall, who has had a strong summer and will be playing in the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst next month, posted a 3-under 281 with two rounds in the 60s.
ROUND THREE RECAP
Morgan Deneen not only kept his lead in the third round of the Palmetto Amateur, he extended it. Deneen started the day at Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, S.C., with a one-shot lead, and by the end of the day, he had a three-shot cushion. Scores were not particularly low on Friday, so Deneen was able to extend his lead even though he shot even-par 71, his highest round so far.
Deneen’s day included two bogeys in his opening three holes. He erased those with birdies at Nos. 5 and 6 and had just one more birdie and one more bogey the rest of the day.
Three men are at 6 under and still within striking distance of Deneen. Those include first-round leader Christian Salzer, Eugene Hong and Greyson Porter.
ROUND THREE RECAP
Scores were low across the board Thursday in the second round of the Palmetto Amateur. Morgan Deneen, a Coastal Carolina player, had one of the best rounds of the day, a 6-under 65, and found himself with the slim 36-hole lead.
Deneen had opened with 68 at Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, S.C. His second round had a long highlight reel. He started with back-to-back birdies before making bogey at No. 3. Other high points included four consecutive birdies from Nos. 7-10, an eagle at No. 14 and a closing birdie at No. 18.
Deneen climbed seven spots up the leaderboard into first.
Behind Deneen, South Carolina player Caleb Proveaux, a native of Lexington, S.C., had a second-round 66 to climb six spots into solo second at 5 under.
Greyson Porter, the Florida State player who won the Orlando International Amateur to end 2018, went 67-68 for solo third. He is 7 under.
The next-best player is Texan Kyle Cox, who at 5 under is solo fourth.
The four men tied for fifth include first-round leader Christian Salzer, who opened with 66 but followed with 72, and Southeastern Amateur winner Ben Carr, who plays for Georgia Southern.
ROUND ONE RECAP
Without a bogey on his card Wednesday at Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, S.C., Christian Salzer managed to rise above the fray at the Palmetto Amateur, but just barely. The N.C. State player opened with a 5-under 66 that left him one shot ahead of the six men who posted a round of 4-under 67.
Salzer, a Sumter, S.C., native who will be a senior for the Wolfpack in the fall, finished in the top 10 at the Rice Planters Amateur earlier this summer. He won the South Carolina Match Play – on Father’s Day, no less – in 2017.
Salzer’s chasers are an impressive bunch. Among them are Orlando International Amateur winner Greyson Porter, who plays for FSU, and Southeastern Amateur winner Ben Carr, who plays for Georgia Southern. Christopher Zhang, Ryan Marter, Kyle Cox and Jamie Wilson are also in that group.
Other notable players who are among the chasers include Caleb Proveaux, a Lexington, S.C., native who plays for South Carolina, at 3-under 68 and Trevor Phillips, an Inman, S.C., resident on the Georgia roster, at 2-under 69.