Albatross leads Connor Howe to Patriot All-America title
31 Dec 2021
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for Patriot All-America, The Wigwam - Gold Course, Connor Howe Rankings

With a jammed-pack leaderboard heading into Friday's final round, the Patriot All-America Invitational trophy could have landed in the hands of any number of players.

There was Hunter Eichhorn of Marquette, who took a one-stroke lead into the final round following a brilliant 63 on Thursday. Mason Andersen of Arizona State and Palmer Jackson of Notre Dame were right there, too, just one back at the start of the day. Chase Sienkiewicz of the University of Arizona, who held the first-round lead after opening with a 63 on Wednesday, was just two back.

In fact, Eichhorn, Andersen and Jackson, along with ASU's Preston Summerhays, shared the lead at 10-under after the opening nine holes.

And then there was Connor Howe, the Georgia Tech junior who was plodding along at even-par after nine holes on Wigwam's Gold Course, where pars leave you covered in Arizona's desert dust and bramble.

With the leaders quietly separating themselves from the pack, Howe stood on the 10th tee box looking for anything to ignite his round and join the fray. A birdie on the par-5 would certainly help matters while an eagle was not impossible but seemed unlikely since he had only parred the hole each of the first two rounds.

What transpired next will not soon be forgotten in the lore of the tournament which pays tribute to military heroes.

Howe, a native of Ogden, Utah, sent shock waves through the Wigwam by holing out his second shot on the par-5 10th for an albatross. With one swing of the club, Howe had moved to 3-under on the day and 11-under for the tournament. He had the leaders in sight but there was more work to be done.

With birdies seemingly there for the taking, it was unlikely anyone was going to fall back to the pack, so Howe had to take matters into his own hands.

And he was more than up for the challenge.

Following his two on the par-5 10th, Howe picked up birdies on holes 12, 13, 15 and 16 for an inward nine of 28 and a round of 7-under 63. At 15-under 195, Howe was the one holding the trophy that two hours previously looked like it was going to be lifted by any one of four players besides him.

“I just started putting well – I made some putts on 12 and 13 and I had some good looks at birdie – and I capitalized,” said Howe.

On the last day of 2021, it was Howe's turn to shoot a 63, and his timing couldn't have been better.

Results: Patriot All-America
1UTConnor HoweOgden, UT80066-66-63=195
2PAPalmer JacksonMurrysville, PA50064-67-67=198
T3MIHunter EichhornCarney, MI40067-63-69=199
T3NCNick LyerlySalisbury, NC40066-68-65=199
T3AZMason AndersenChandler, AZ40065-66-68=199

View full results for Patriot All-America

ABOUT THE Patriot All-America

The Wigwam and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation present the Patriot All- America Invitational. It's one of the most unique events in all of golf.

84 top collegiate players named to the PING All- America team in NCAA Division I,II and III, NAIA and NJCAA, AJGA, one player from each military academy and select international players compete in a 54- hole championship.

Each player honors our military by carrying a bag with the name, rank and service of a fallen or severely wounded soldier embroidered on the pocket. Following the championship, the bags go to the players’ school for auction, with proceeds benefiting the Folds of Honor.

View Complete Tournament Information

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