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War (Double) Eagle: Carson Bacha wins Dogwood Invitational
12 Jun 2022
by Kevin Price of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for Dogwood Invitational, Druid Hills Golf Club, Carson Bacha Rankings

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2022 Dogwood Invitational champion Carson Bacha (Conner Penfold photo)
2022 Dogwood Invitational champion Carson Bacha (Conner Penfold photo)

Carson Bacha fired a 6-under-par 66, the lowest score of the final round on Saturday, to win the Dogwood Invitational at Druid Hills Golf Club in suburban Atlanta.

The Auburn golfer finished the opening tournament of the summer season at 22 under which was good for a five-shot victory over Wake Forest standout Scotty Kennon, who also shot 66 to reach 17 under and grab the runner-up spot on the final leaderboard.

“It feels great,” Bacha said about winning his first amateur major. “I had a lot of confidence coming into this week. I played the event last year and really like the course. It’s a course you just need to wedge it and drive it really well. Driving is one of the strongest parts of my game, and I hit wedges very good this week and gave myself so many birdie opportunities. I made two bogeys and a double-bogey all week. I just played a lot of really clean golf and was able to capitalize when I had opportunities.”


The highlight of Bacha’s final round was a double-eagle at the par-5 seventh hole where he had a 6-iron from 187 yards into a back left hole location that was protected by a bunker behind it. Bacha said he hit a cut shot which landed about 10 feet short of the hole and rolled into the cup. He actually didn’t see it go in, but did hear applause from some spectators standing on a hill just beyond the hole.

“It’s a shot I’ve been working a lot on,” Bacha said. “I used to be a big drawer of the ball. It was really nice to execute that one exactly how I had it in my head, and for it to go in was just a bonus.”

The double-eagle was actually his fourth all-time to go with two holes-in-one he made as a junior golfer. Bacha said he actually had “two or three” double-eagles during this past collegiate season with Auburn.

The shot all but sealed his Dogwood win, too, as it gave him a four-shot lead at the time and he led by that margin or more throughout the remainder of the round.


2022 Dogwood champion Carson Bacha with his father (and caddy) Kevin Bacha. (Conner Penfold photo)

Bacha said he pretty much stayed in attack mode, though he didn’t make another red number until his birdie on the par-3 15th hole. He missed birdie putts inside 10 feet on the next two holes before punctuating his victory with a birdie at the par-5 18th.

“I probably hit a few more conservative shots,” he said. “When there were tucked pins, I might have aimed just a few more feet away from them just to guarantee hitting the greens. Hole 2 was the only green I missed today which just goes to show I had a pretty good game plan. I gave myself a lot of opportunities, just didn’t convert as many putts today. But overall, it was still a pretty good round.”

Bacha took the lead for the first time Friday with his third-round 65 which gave him a two-shot advantage going into Saturday’s fourth round at 16-under for the tournament.
Bacha, a native of York, Pa., who had his father Kevin working as his caddie this week, tied for 26th at Druid Hills last year, shooting 7 under over the four rounds. He came into this week off a top-20 finish in the stroke-play portion of the recent NCAA Championship.

“Being my first amateur win, it makes it really special,” he said. “It’s cool because this is a field that’s really strong. I know a lot of the names in it.”


Tournament Chair Ed Klein with runner-up Scotty Kennon. (Conner Penfold photo)

Kennon knew it might be hard to chase down Bacha on Saturday starting five shots behind. He was thinking 21-under might win the tournament which meant he would have to shoot 11 under.

The Wake Forest golfer shot 33 on his outward nine with four birdies and a bogey. He started the back with a bogey after a wayward tee ball found the trees, but he also added four birdies for another 33 and a round of 66 to finish at 17 under.

He was satisfied with his finish. “I hit the ball good enough to shoot 10 or 11 under, but didn’t make the putts I needed to do it. But 22 under is some great golf out here, so it’s pretty hard to catch that. But it was a good week, a nice week.”

Georgia Tech’s Bartley Forrester figured to have the best chance to run down Bacha when the day started. After all, the redshirt senior for the Yellow Jackets began the final round two strokes behind the leader after shooting an 8-under 64 on Friday which was the low score of the tournament and got him to 14-under going into Saturday.

Forrester, who had a large gallery watching, just didn’t have his best stuff early. He three-putted the first green and and later made a double-bogey at the par-3 sixth. He did make a pair of birdies on the front to turn at 1 over, finding himself four shots behind Bacha.

Forrester didn’t give in, though. He made four birdies on the back side including three in a row on the final three holes after seeing a short par putt roll around the cup but not drop at the par-4 15th.


Bartley Forrester teeing off at the par-5 18th during the final round of The Dogwood. (Conner Penfold photo)

An honorable-mention All-America player for the Yellow Jackets this past season, Forrester ended up taking solo third with a 2-under 70 that left him at 16-under for the week.

“It was a tough day, didn’t get off to the start I wanted,” he said. “I just tried to keep hitting good shots. I played really well on the back. If I was a little closer early on, it might have given Carson a little something to think about. He was just really rock-solid all day. But overall, I’m really proud of my tournament.”

Harris Barth, a Furman commit from Atlanta, finished alone in fourth at 14 under after posting a 69 on Saturday. Barth won the Georgia Amateur championship last year as a high school junior and will defend that title next month.

Finishing solo fifth was Alex Heffner from Davidson College. He closed with a 68 to finish at 13- under. Heffner matched Forrester with a 64 in the third round for the lowest score of the week.

Four players ended up tied for sixth at 12 under including University of Kansas player Ben Sigel who also shot a 66 in the final round.

Canadian Garrett Rank and University of Florida golfer Matthew Kress tied for 10th at 11 under. Kress shot 71 on Saturday while Rank shot 70. Rank, who is the third-ranked mid-amateur by Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com, won the low mid-am honors at The Dogwood for the second consecutive year.

The field was cut to the low 40 players for Saturday’s final round.

PHOTO GALLERY
2022 Dogwood Invitational

DOGWOOD NOTEBOOK

War Eagle: Chris Bacha is the latest Auburn Tiger to win the Dogwood Invitational.

Just in the last 20 years, four Auburn players have won at Druid Hills Golf Club. Lee Williams won the event back in 2003. His win was followed by Michael Johnson in 2013.

Six years later in 2019, Brandon Mancheno won The Dogwood after playing at Auburn prior to transferring to North Florida to finish out his collegiate career.

Scholarship Recipient: This year’s Wayne Reynolds scholarship winner was recognized Saturday during the post-tournament awards ceremony.

This year’s recipient is Fisher Crews, a graduating senior from Pierce County High School in Blackshear, Ga. Crews will be attending Southern Methodist University in the fall.

The Reynolds Scholarship was founded by Wayne Reynolds, a former Druid Hills member. He wanted to leave something special for the club that would also benefit the community. Reynolds and his family chose to help junior golfers by giving them a chance to attend college by establishing the four-year $3,000 annual scholarship presented in his name to students who qualify.

The Dogwood supports the Druid Hills Golf Club Foundation which oversees the Reynolds Scholarship.

He Was There: Also recognized during Saturday’s awards presentation was the 1966 Dogwood Invitational champion Charlie Harrison. Harrison, who was seated on the front row, is now 90 years old.

Harrison is a Georgia golf icon. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur 16 times and played in two Masters. Among his many wins are the 1955 Southern Amateur and the 1959 Georgia Amateur. He is a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and Georgia Tech Hall of Fame, where he lettered four years for the Yellow Jackets.

Southern Strong: The Dogwood has a distinct Southern flavor, with numerous players representing colleges scattered throughout the Southeast. But, the SEC and the ACC certainly had a strong presence in the top 25 on the scoreboard this year.

There were 10 players from SEC schools and six players who play at ACC schools among the top 25 finishers in this year’s tournament.

The SEC schools represented in the top 25 were Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi State and LSU. The ACC programs were Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Clemson.

Results: Dogwood Invitational
1PACarson BachaYork, PA100067-68-65-66=266
2FLScotty KennonJacksonville, FL70067-70-68-66=271
3GABartley ForresterGainesville, GA50069-69-64-70=272
4GAHarris BarthAtlanta, GA50071-68-66-69=274
5NCAlex HeffnerHarrisburg, NC50073-70-64-68=275

View full results for Dogwood Invitational

ABOUT THE Dogwood Invitational

Tournament week is June 6-11 at Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. The entry fee includes breakfast and lunch tournament days as well as special events.

The history of this prestigious event extends back to 1941, when legendary amateur Tommy Barnes captured his first of five Dogwood titles. Evolving with the times, the modern Dogwood has produced fine champions like Webb Simpson (’07), Brian Harman (’09), Dawson Armstrong (’15), and in 2019 Brandon Mancheno. This evolution can be seen also in our course renovations and set-up, our relaxed tournament atmosphere, and our spirit of social responsibility.

Players are required to walk during tournament play and may carry their golf bag themselves (push carts are allowed) or take a caddie. Caddies may be requested in advance during registration, or players may select one on their own.

Player housing is provided on an as available basis to players only, caddies and traveling companions are not provided housing.

View Complete Tournament Information

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