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Virginia Beach’s Evan Beck became just the second player ever to win the State Open of Virginia and Virginia State Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship in the same year, outlasting Abingdon’s Garland Green in a four-hole playoff at Fawn Lake Country Club Sunday to win the 45th playing of the Mid-Amateur.
Beck (Princess Anne CC) and Green (Tazewell County CC) posted identical three-day totals of 200 to advance to the playoff. Beck won on the fourth playoff hole with a par after Green had hit his tee shot out of bounds.
The three-day aggregate 200 tied the tournament scoring record, first set by Matt Chandler in 2012. Beck joins Virginia Golf Hall of Famer Tom McKnight as players to pull the State Open/Mid-Am double. McKnight won both in 1985.
For the most part, Sunday’s third and final round was a two-man show featuring Beck and Green, though Charlottesville’s Dustin Groves did his best to butt his way into the conversation, posting a bogey-free 10-under 62 to at least put a scare into the leaders. In the end, Groves’ three-day total of 202 left him two shots out of the playoff.
“I had never been here, and it really took me the first day to sort of figure the golf course out,” Groves said. “I played well and got close. I’d like to pick one of these off one of these days. But shoot, two guys shooting 16 under, that’s pretty hard to beat. But super fun, obviously, 10 birdies and no bogeys.”
Green entered Sunday with a one-stroke edge on Beck, and the two players traded punches all day long. Things began to get really interesting on the par-5 16th. Green found himself in trouble left off the tee but punched out effectively to give himself a realistic chance at birdie. Instead, he three-putted the hole, and Beck made about a five-foot birdie putt, a two-shot swing that gave Beck a one-stroke lead heading to 17.
“I made mistakes. He made mistakes,” Green said. “We pretty much were at each other’s throats all day.”
On 17, Beck stuffed his approach to inside of three feet, but he missed the short birdie putt. Instead of potentially closing the door on the tournament, he left Green with a giant opening.
“I played it left center but I came out of it,” Beck said. “It was probably left edge if I had stayed in the putt. A little bit of user error there, for sure. I feel like I looked up before I even hit the ball. I was just trying to make it and have a two-shot lead going to the final hole. Just got ahead of myself.”
Green took advantage. He sank a 15-foot putt for birdie on the 18th to force the playoff.
“I knew I had to make it,” Green said. “It was either make it or get back in the car and go home.”
Added Beck: “I had a feeling he was going to make it. He’s too good of a player not to.”
Both players made two-putt pars on each of the first two playoff holes. On the third playoff hole, Beck left his approach short and in the front bunker, forcing him to get up and down for par to stay alive. When Green missed his birdie putt, the playoff was extended.
“I was in between clubs, and I took the longer one and tried to take a lot off of it,” Beck said. “It just stopped turning. I honestly stopped watching it, I was so mad. I’m fortunate it got in the bunker. I didn’t have a great lie but I had a ton of green to work with, up the hill. So I just kind of chunked it out and made a four or five footer to keep it going.”
Green hit a 3-wood on the fourth playoff hole and piped it left past the white stakes and out of bounds, a crucial mistake that opened the door for Beck to claim the victory. “Just hit it off the toe,” Green said.
Green essentially needed to jar his approach with his provisional ball for par to extend the playoff, but his shot hit the green about 20 feet away from the hole. Beck reached the green in regulation and sealed the win with a two-putt par.
Beck, a re-instated amateur and former Wake Forest standout, hadn’t won a competitive tournament since the 2010 State Open of Virginia, but he’s more than made up for lost time in 2021. He teamed with Mikey Moyers to win the VSGA Multi-Format Team Championship in April, reached the semifinals of the VSGA Amateur in June, won both the Eastern Amateur and State Open of Virginia in July, and capped his outstanding year with Sunday’s title at Fawn Lake.
“Golf is weird,” Beck said. “Confidence plays a huge part in it. I’m feeling really good about my game and have been for several months now. Putts are going in when they need to. That’s just part of the deal. Sometimes they don’t, but when they do, it’s a lot of fun.”
Related: Evan Beck wins 64th Eastern Amateur
View results for VSGA Mid-Amateur
ABOUT THE VSGA Mid-Amateur
54-hole stroke play competition (18 holes per day),
with the field being cut to the low 45 and ties for the
final round. Open to VSGA members who will be at
least 25 years of age holding an active GHIN
issued by a licensed VSGA Member Club in good
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