Finigan Tilly rides birdie wave for South Beach Invitational win
played four excellent rounds to secure a two-stroke victory at the South Beach Invitational with a score of 15 under. The two host courses, Miami Beach Golf Club and Normandy Shore Golf Club, relinquished a lot of birdies to the entire field. Tilly made 24 birdies in the four rounds, including 15 in the opening 36 holes.
His torrid pace gave him the distinction of being the first wire-to-wire winner of the event and his final 15-under score of 268 was just a stroke off the tournament record.
Tilly, a graduate student at Cal-Berkeley, had missed the cut in his three previous appearances in the SBIA. Given the exceptionally deep field, making the cut is not something players can take for granted. Given the tournament’s timing in the golfing calendar, it might slip under the radar of many, but Tilly's win means a lot.
"My biggest victory of my career," he said following the round.
To anyone that has followed Tilly in recent years, this win shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. He won both the Grapevine Amateur and The State Fair Amateur in 2020, and was a quarterfinalist at the North & South this summer.
Over the course of the tournament, scoring became harder due to some high winds and heavy rains. This gave University of Cincinnati's Clay Amlung
and Arizona State’s Jose Ballester
a ray of hope, as they tried to chase down Tilly over the final 36 holes. Amlung ended up in second at 13 under and Ballester finished in third three shots behind Tilly.
As the name of the event says, there was solid international representation at the top of the leaderboard. Ballester is a five-time Spanish champion, England’s Sam Bairstow, winner of the 2021 Brabazon finished fourth, and AJ Ewart
, from Canada, finished tied for fifth.
ABOUT THE South Beach International
72-hole event with 36-hole cut. Open to
ranked amateurs, college players, mid-amateurs
and juniors. Non-exempt players must submit a playing
resume to be considered for the field.
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