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Phillips breaks out of pack to win the 68th Sunnehanna Amateur
19 Jun 2021
by Rick Woelfel of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for Sunnehanna Amateur, Sunnehanna Country Club, Trent Phillips Rankings

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L-R: Travis Vick, Ian Siebers, Trent Phillips (Sunnehanna photo)
L-R: Travis Vick, Ian Siebers, Trent Phillips (Sunnehanna photo)

Trent Phillips 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 there.”

Ian Siebers (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 (San 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.

Jacob Bridgeman (Inman, S.C.) was at 275 while Bo Jin (Encinitas, Cal.), Spencer Cross (Sevierville, Tenn.), Chris Gotterup (Little Silver, N.J.) and Karl Vilips (Perth, NSW, 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 situations.

“(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 realize that.”

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 consecutive pars.

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.

Chip Shots

- 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.

Results: Sunnehanna Amateur
1SCTrent PhillipsInman, SC120069-68-66-68=271
2WAIan SiebersBellevue, WA90067-69-71-65=272
3TXTravis VickHouston, TX70068-70-69-66=273
T4CAShiryu (Leo) OyoSan Diego, CA70074-70-66-64=274
T4PAPalmer JacksonMurrysville, PA70070-72-64-68=274

View full results for Sunnehanna Amateur

ABOUT THE Sunnehanna Amateur

The Sunnehanna Amateur was inaugurated in July of 1954 -- it was the first country club sponsored 72-hole stroke play competition for amateurs in the United States. The tournament is played on a classic A.W. Tillinghast design. Only one other amateur tournament in the United States can list the likes of Chick Evans, Arnold Palmer, Julius Boros, Art Wall, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Rickie Fowler as contestants: the United States Amateur. Its medal play format has been emulated by countless amateur tournaments across the country.

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