Kramer wins in a Yellowjacket duel at Rice Planters Amateur
24 Jun 2022
by Sean Melia of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for Rice Planters Amateur, Snee Farm Country Club, Aidan Kramer Profile

Bruce Fleming and Aidan Kramer (Credit: Rice Planters)
Bruce Fleming and Aidan Kramer (Credit: Rice Planters)

The Rice Planters Amateur is known as an event that catapults its winners to new heights. Aidan Kramer is the latest champion of the prestigious event after holding off Andy Mao down the stretch. Kramer and Mao are rather familiar with each other, as they are Georgia Tech teammates.

The two Yellowjackets started the day separated by a shot, with Kramer sitting at 10-under par after stellar rounds of 68 and 66. Luke Wells from Rutgers was also lurking at nine-under par.

Kramer was the only player to record scores in the 60s in the first two rounds. He had been knocking on the door for a win in 2022 with some solid play at the Azalea, where he finished tied for 11th and the New Year's Invitational where he finished in second place.

To say that Kramer's play was steady over the three rounds would be an understatement. He made just two bogeys the entire tournament, and he started the final round with ten straight pars.

Snee Farm Country Club, which isn't too brawny according to the scorecard, put up a challenge in the final round. The tight fairways at the Mt. Pleasant, SC layout force players at the top of the leaderboard to be careful, but there's always the threat of a player breaking away from the chasing pack and making a bunch of birdies.

Wells was the player that came out of the gates the fastest, making birdies on the second and sixth holes to leapfrog Mao and Kramer into the lead at 11-under par. However, the golf course snapped back and Wells made a double-bogey six on the eighth hole. Another double bogey on the 14th hole put Wells off the pace. He finished with a 73 and in third place at eight-under par for the tournament.

The stage was set for the two Georgia Tech Yellowjackets to go head-to-head as they made the turn for home tied at 10-under par. Between Mao and Kramer, they made one birdie and 17 pars on the front nine in the final round. The lone birdie coming on the ninth hole for Mao.

Even as the pressure of competition built up, Kramer and Mao were consistent. Kramer followed a bogey on the 11th hole with birdies on at 12 and 13.

Mao and Kramer stood on the 13th tee box at 11-under par and tied for the lead. They would walk off the 18th hole also tied at 11-under par. Kramer polished off his round with five straight pars. Mao bounced back from a bogey on the 15th to birdie the par-5 16th.

It would only take one playoff hole for a new Rice Planters champion to be crowned. After Mao and Kramer both found the fairway on the 18th hole in the playoff, Mao left himself a long uphill putt. Kramer's approach, from just a few yards closer than Mao, left him 15 feet for a birdie.

After Mao lagged his lengthly putt to a few feet, Kramer sank a curling birdie putt for the win. The first pump as the ball tumbled into the hole was first class.

Over the 49 previous Rice Planters, the winners have combined for over 155 PGA Tour and Korn Ferry victories. And when names like Davis Love III, Stewart Cink, and Brooks Koepka are on your trophy, Rice Planters champions can claim seven professional major trophies, too. Toss in Allen Doyle’s four Champions Tour majors, and it becomes clear that the Rice Planters has identified some stellar golfers.

Now, Aidan Kramer has his name next to major champions after keeping his nerve down the stretch on a tricky golf course.

Like in many previous years, the Rice Planters delivered an exciting finish and a worthy winner.

Results: Rice Planters Amateur
1FLAidan KramerOviedo, FL50068-66-71=205
2GAAndy MaoJohns Creek, GA40065-70-70=205
3OHLuke WellsSpringfield, OH30070-65-73=208
T4INJoey RanieriZionsville, IN30075-65-69=209
T4GABrent HammWarner Robins, GA30070-70-69=209

View full results for Rice Planters Amateur

ABOUT THE Rice Planters Amateur

The Rice Planters Amateur was the inspiration of amateur golfer, Dick Horne. During his first Porter Cup at the Niagara Falls Country Club in 1973, Horne befriended the tournament's chairman Dick Harvey. Harvey encouraged a receptive Horne to develop his own southern tournament and, consequently, along with other Porter Cup officials, shared enough useful information to get Horne started in the South. The Rice Planters quickly grew to become one of the top amateur events in the country.

The Rice Planters is played over 54 holes of stroke play. While entries are by invitation only, the tournament typically holds a 90-player qualifier for the final five spots in the field.

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