Thanksgiving comes early for Ryan Meyer at the Gobbler Amateur
The Gobbler Amateur turned into the Wildcat Invitational on Wednesday as Arizona teammates Ryan Meyer
and Santeri Lehesmaa
went head-to-head in a playoff to decide the champion at Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson.
Meyer, a freshman from Oakdale, Calif. prevailed over the senior from Finland with a birdie on the first playoff hole to take the title, which seemed to be an unlikely outcome at the start of the day.
At 4-over 144, Meyer began the day six strokes off the pace of another Arizona Wildcat, Johnny Walker
, while Lehesmaa, Sangha Park
of Korea and Houston high schooler Jack Gilbert
were three back. It would take a lights-out round and a little help from the players in front of him if Meyer was going to play his way into contention.
And that's exactly what happened.
Meyer blistered Sewailo's front nine with six birdies and then moved to 7-under on the day with another birdie on the par-5 10th hole. A pair of bogeys on holes 11 and 14 led to a final round of 5-under 66 and the clubhouse lead at 3-under 210.
Would it be enough?
Walker fell out of contention with a final round 76, as did Gilbert and Park, who closed with rounds of 72 and 73, respectively.
Lehesmaa was nursing a one-stroke lead but slipped back into a tie with Meyer after making a bogey on the 455-yard, par-4 17th hole and after closing with a par, the two Arizona Wildcats finished tied at 3-under 210 and were headed to a playoff, which was shortlived.
Meyer won the title on the first playoff hole by rolling in a 35-foot birdie putt, capping one of the most memorable come-from-behind victories in the history of the event and the Troon Saguaro Amateur Series.
"I got off to a hot start and was able to hang on on the tough holes on the back," said Meyer. "The win means a lot because it shows the hard work I have been putting in this fall."
Meyer's other notable wins came as a prep at Oakdale High School when he finished first as 2019 CIF Northern California High School Championship where he shot a 65 and at the NCGA Junior Amateur Championship in 2018.
Canadian Laurent Desmarchais
, a freshman at the University of Tennessee, finished third with a 1-under score of 212.
ABOUT THE Gobbler Amateur
Founded in 2016, the Gobbler Invitational is a 54-hole
stroke play event with no cut. It is open to male
amateur golfers with an index of 3.0 or less. A variety
of exemption categories are offered, based mostly on
rankings and USGA appearances. The top 10 finishers
will be exempt into
the Saguaro Amateur in January.
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