Natarajan wins the Phoenix City Amateur in three-way playoff
Shankar Natarajan (Phoenix City photo)
Shankar Natarajan (Phoenix City photo)

Shankar Natarajan defeated Tyler Wooldridge and Erick Liscio in a sudden-death playoff, making birdie on the first playoff hole to win the 77th Phoenix City Championship at Papago Park.

The 43-year-old Natarajan, a native of Zambia and formerly at Arizona State University, was two shots back entering the final round but closed with a second-straight 68 to get into the clubhouse at 9 under. Liscio, a co-leader entering the final day, shot a 70 while Wooldridge had a 69.

"I felt like I needed to shoot 67 to get to 10 under", said Natarajan, who, despite birdies at 9, 10, 12, and 14, fell one shot short of what would have been the outright winning score.

The three went to the 10th hole at Papago Park to start the playoff, which Natarajan ended with his birdie after hitting a sand wedge to five feet.

Said Natarajan, "I am very excited and proud to get this win as the Phoenix City has a strong history and some very good players have won it."

The other 36-hole co-leader, Jake Carlson, shot a 74 and fell into the 5th spot. The round of the day went to Brett Howard, whose 7-under 65 allowed him to jump eight players into a 4th-place finish.

2015 champion Adam Walicki finished 7th at 1 under par.

Round 1 was played at Grand Canyon University GC, Round 2 was at Aguila GC, and the final round was at Papago Park.

Other flight winners included:

James Lee, First Flight, 216

Richie Kernagis, Second Flight, 217

Jakob Kogler, Third Flight, 233

ABOUT THE Phoenix City

54 holes, played at three different area courses. Tournament is open to anyone with a handicap of 15.0 or less. Four flights based on handicap, all played at gross.

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