Ben Carr (left) is now a two-time winner of the Southeastern Amateur
The Southeastern Amateur Championship has been something Ben Carr
has looked forward to every summer for as long as he can remember.
“I grew up watching it,” Carr said. “I used to be standard bearer and I caddied in the tournament. I did whatever they wanted me to do. I just wanted to be a part of it. Once I was old enough to play, I started playing. I’ve played in it every summer since I was 16 years old. It’s just really special, and the community of Columbus always wraps its hands around the tournament.”
And now, Carr is a two-time champion of the tournament which was held this week for the 92nd time at the Country Club of Columbus (Ga.), where Carr has played countless rounds as a club member going back to his boyhood days.
He closed out another impressive performance in his hometown Friday to finish the 54-hole event at 21-under par, a new scoring record for the tournament, and winning by 10 strokes just as he did back in 2019 when claimed his first Southeastern Amateur in record-setting fashion.
Carr, who will soon begin his senior year at Georgia Southern where he is the captain of the men’s golf team, said he had three of his best-ever putting rounds the last three days.
“My wedge-game and putting was just on,” he said. “I probably made seven or eight 40-footers this week. You really have to pay attention to the grain on these greens and play putts to hold straighter than they look, and you have to be comfortable hitting them with pace.”
Two years ago, Carr shot 19-under 261 when the tournament was still a 72-hole event. This week, he needed 18 fewer holes to set a new low-score for the tournament as the event was shortened to three rounds last summer.
Carr shot four rounds in the 60s on the par-70 country club track designed by Donald Ross back in 2019. The highlight of his win then was the 61 score he carded in the third round to also set a new single-round scoring record for the tournament.
On Friday, he fired a 7-under 63 score for the low round of the day to win going away once again.
Carr began this year’s tournament with a 6-under 64 on Wednesday to quickly get in contention for the title as he was second behind Clemson golfer Zack Gordon
after the first round.
Carr gained the lead on Thursday when he posted a 62 to grab a four-shot advantage over Gordon going into Friday’s final round.
The hometown favorite didn’t give anyone a chance to catch him in the closing round Friday as he put an exclamation point on his second triumph in the prestigious event with a 63 score to further pad his lead while rewriting the tourney record book once again.
His scorecard for the final round didn’t have a single blemish as Carr posted seven birdies including five on the front nine and 11 pars to close out another impressive showing.
Over the three rounds, Carr made only one bogey and that came on the par-3 fifth hole yesterday after he began his second round with four straight birdies.
Carr, who finished third last year and also third back in 2018, has now shot 12 consecutive scores in the 60s in this tournament.
“I’m definitely extra comfortable out there. I’ve played this course my whole life, and that gives me an edge over everyone else,” he said. You still have to go out and execute, and fortunately I was able to do that for three straight days.”
Carr becomes the 17th player in the tournament’s history to have two wins in the event. Assuming he will return to defend his championship next summer, Carr will have the chance to become just the fourth player to win the event three times. The others are Frank Garrard Jr., Arnold Blum and Sonny Swift.
The only four-time champion is Columbus native Wright Waddell, who also twice won the Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship and is a member of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.
Allen Doyle, who won 23 times as an amateur player including a Dogwood Invitational title and four Sunnehanna Amateur crowns before turning professional at age 46, has the most wins in the Southeastern Am with five.
Carr said he leaves Saturday morning for Western Amateur, which begins Monday in Glenview, Ill.
This year’s runner-up in the Southeastern Am was Garrett Johnson from Mississippi State who finished at 11-under 199. He finished a stroke in front of Gordon who settled for third at 10-under.
Nicolas Cassidy, runner-up at the Dogwood Invitational in Druid Hills (Ga.) last month, was fourth at 9-under while Luke Wells, who plays at Rutgers, rounded out the top five at 8-under.
A total of 27 players in the 90-man field ended the three rounds under par.
ABOUT THE Southeastern Amateur
The Southeastern Amateur is a top-level amateur
golf tournament with a rich history
dating back to 1922 - when the tournament was
created by Fred Haskins. Each year,
the Southeastern Amateur has the great honor of
hosting many of the nation's top
amateur golfers, from Division I NCAA National
Champions to the nation's top Mid-
Field is limited to 90 players. The format is 54 holes
play with no cut. Open qualifier held the day before
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