- CC of Birmingham photo
(Altamonte Springs, Fla.) defeated Todd Burgan
(Knoxville, Tenn.) on the first hole of a playoff to win the National Invitational Tournament at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.).
Both Brooke, who won the Gasparilla Invitational at Palma Ceia G&CC in Florida earlier this year, and Burgan, who finished fourth in this tournament last year, had stressful finishes to their rounds as the West Course at the Country Club of Birmingham was playing even more difficult than usual. The course will host the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball next spring and showed its teeth this week, with 5 over par the low score for three rounds.
For the second straight round, Burgan suffered three late bogeys, including on the 18th hole after taking a one-shot lead when Brooke double-bogeyed the 17th (his second double of the day). Both players closed with 4-over 75s.
Winning is never easy and requires perseverance, as Brooke displayed at the Gasparilla when he overcame a wrong-ball penalty to prevail by one shot. Today, the 46-year-old was able to overcome making the two doubles and losing his lead on the 53rd hole to par the difficult 18th and win on the first playoff hole.
For the 52-year-old Burgan, it was a close call and his seventh top-15 finish in this event in the last ten years.
John Hunter (The Woodlands, Texas) needed a birdie at the last to join the playoff but came up one shot short, finishing with a 74 and a 6-over 219 total for solo third place.
Tyler McKeever (Atlanta, Ga.) had the round of the day, a 3-under 68, to finish in a tie for fourth with Travis Womble (Nashville, Tenn.), two shots out of the playoff.
The defending champion Stephen Behr (Atlanta, Ga.), the 2020 AmateurGolf.com Mid-Amateur Player of the Year, tied for sixth with John Engler (Augusta, Ga.) and Richard Douglas (Birmingham, Ala.).
A pair of USGA champions, Mike McCoy (W. Des Moines, Iowa) and Nathan Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.), tied for 24th.
ABOUT THE NIT
This 54-hole stroke play event, formerly
held the weekend after Memorial Day but moved to
November in 2020, dates back to
the early 1900's and is also known as the "NIT". Draws
a field of national-level mid-amateurs.
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