L-R: Travis Vick, Ian Siebers, Trent Phillips (Sunnehanna photo)
broke out of the pack on the final nine
holes Saturday afternoon to score a one-stroke victory at
the 68th playing of the Sunnehanna Amateur.
Phillips, an Inman, S.C. native and a three-time All-SEC
choice at Georgia, concluded his week with a 2-under par
68 at Sunnehanna Country Club in Johnstown, Pa. to
finish the 72 holes at 9-under par 271 and claim one of
the nation’s most prestigious amateur titles.
Phillips called the win the biggest of his career in light of
the tournament’s history and prestige.
“The clubhouse itself is really neat,” he said, “how they
have all the champions, and all the guys that have played
there. It’s pretty cool to look at when you walk through
(Bellevue, Wash.) closed with a 65 to finish
alone in second place at 8-under par 272. Travis Vick
(Houston, Texas), who placed second in this tournament last
year, finished at 273 after a closing 66. Leo Oyo
Diego, Calif.) turned in the day’s low round, a 64 which put him
at 274. He was joined at that figure by Palmer Jackson
(Murrysville, Pa.), who finished with a 68.
(Inman, S.C.) was at 275 while Bo Jin
(Encinitas, Cal.), Spencer Cross
(Sevierville, Tenn.), Chris
(Little Silver, N.J.) and Karl Vilips
Australia) were all at 277.
- Sunnehanna photo
Phillips started his Saturday with a one-shot lead over
Vilips but that lead disappeared in the wake of a bumpy
start. He bogeyed two of his first five holes.
Phillips noted that the greens reacted differently on
Saturday than they did earlier in the week due to rain,
which fell at one point early in his round, leaving him
with some long putts and, consequently, some three-putt
“(The greens) weren’t bouncing much,” he said. “I really
didn’t know exactly how to play them, because I didn’t
want (approach shots) bounding over the green. The
fairways weren’t wet really, they were kind of dried out,
but the greens were wet. It took me five or six holes to
Phillips birdied the par-4 sixth but after a bogey at the
eighth, he found himself standing at five under par for
the tournament and tied for the lead along with Siebers
and also Oyo, who moved into contention after playing
his first 11 holes in four under par.
At that point, Phillips took matters into his own hands by
recording birdies at the ninth and 11th, both par fives, and
a par at the par-3 10th in between. He went on to birdie
the 12th and 13th , both par fours. All three birdie putts
were five feet or shorter. He finished his round with five
Phillips said it was important not to lose his aggressiveness
down the stretch. “I’ve seen it happen,” he said. “Not
just myself but other players. When they’re doing well
and they have a lead; if they’re leading by three or four
shots they want to kind of cruise in and it’s hard to get it
done that way.”
Siebers, a sophomore-to-be at Duke, started the final
round four shots off the pace, and playing two groups
behind Phillips. He played his first five holes in three
under par before making the turn in 2-under par 33.
He birdied the 11th and 12th before recording his final
birdie of the day at the par-5 15th.
Vick went out in 34 before recording three birdies on his
incoming nine, the last two at the 16th and 17th.
The best round of the day, on a day that featured
optimum scoring conditions, was produced by Oyo, who
bogeyed the second, but played his last 16 holes in seven
under par. His round featured an eagle at the par-5 11th.
- The win takes Phillips to No. 6 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Amateur Ranking
. Phillips indicated he’ll turn professional
following his upcoming senior year at Georgia. He considered
turning professional after his freshman year but
decided against it in large part because of the PGA Tour
University program that offers incentives for collegiate
golfers to stay in school.
- Watching the bombers tackle the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines this week, it can be easy to forget that hitting fairways is still an important part of the game. How important? Phillips didn't miss a single fairway in his winning final round.
- With rounds of 69-68-66-68, Phillips was the only player in the field to record four sub-70 scores.
- As expected, Phillips thanked his dad, the Committee, and his host family after receiving the trophy. The next person he thanked, however, was quite unexpected. “The girl in the 'ugly dog' stand”, as Phillips called her. “She made at least 20 for me this week”, said Phillips of the hamburgers shaped like hot dogs that were available as players made the turn.
ABOUT THE Sunnehanna Amateur
The Sunnehanna Amateur was inaugurated in
1954 -- it was the first country club
sponsored 72-hole stroke play competition for
in the United States. The
tournament is played on a classic A.W.
design. Only one other amateur
tournament in the United States can list the
Chick Evans, Arnold Palmer, Julius
Boros, Art Wall, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson,
Woods, and Rickie Fowler as
contestants: the United States Amateur. Its
format has been emulated by
countless amateur tournaments across the
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