Evan Beck (VSGA photo)
Virginia Beach’s Evan Beck
shot a three-day aggregate 10-under-par 206 to finish three strokes clear of Richmond’s Jordan Utley
and win the 46th Virginia State Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship on Sunday at Keswick Golf Club. Beck successfully defended the title he won last September at Fawn Lake Country Club in Spotsylvania.
Beck (Princess Anne CC) made just one bogey in 54 holes. Utley (Hermitage CC) shot 67-74-68—209 to finish second, though his second-round struggles left him a tall hill to climb in Sunday’s final round. Roanoke’s Justin Young (Hidden Valley CC) shot 67-70-74—211 to finish alone in third at 5-under.
In each of his final two rounds, Beck made nine consecutive pars on his front nine before picking up steam on the back. He shot 5-under on his back nine (he started on 10) in Saturday’s second round to surge into the lead, and he shot 2-under on the back nine on Sunday to get to the finish line.
“He has so much experience that he wasn’t going to falter,” Utley said. “We had to do something special to beat him.”
Both Young and Beck were even through nine holes and both made birdie on the par-4 10th. Beck parred the par-3 11th, but Young made a three-putt bogey to fall two shots off the pace. He never recovered. He made another bogey on 12 and one more in the driving rain on 18.
“That’s a putt I should make. I should have backed off,” Young said. “I heard a gas cart start off in the distance, and it caught my attention. You’ve got to back off stuff like that. The putter, I missed some short ones that I usually make, and it was hard to get the momentum going after that.”
Utley began the day five shots off the lead but gained ground early by making birdie on each of the first two holes. He was within three of the lead after a birdie on No. 12 and burned the edge on long birdie putt on 13 that could have cut the margin to two. Instead, Beck saved par there then made a 12-footer for birdie on 14 to open a four-stroke margin.
“I hit a lot of really good putts, but when you’re putting from 30 or 40 feet, you’re not expecting those to go in,” Utley said. “It would have been nice to get that, but I wasn’t walking to the green expecting a two-shot swing there.”
Beck is the fifth back-to-back winner of the Mid-Amateur in the last 20 years, joining Keith Decker, Nick Biesecker, Jon Hurst and Matt Chandler. Chandler was the last to accomplish the feat in 2015-16.
Though Beck has had outstanding success in national events, he had not won a VSGA event this year until Sunday. He was a semifinalist in the VSGA Amateur Championship and runner-up in the State Open of Virginia. Beck now has five VSGA titles to his credit – two Mid-Ams, two State Opens and one Multi-Format Team Championship.
Utley (68) and George Ordway (69) were the only two players to shoot in the 60s on Sunday.
The top five finishers received exemptions into the 2023 VSGA Amateur Championship at Boonsboro CC. Ordway finished fourth at 3-over 219, and Ben Keefer was alone in fifth at 4-over 220.
Holes 5 and 6 at Keswick ranked as the two most difficult over the tournament’s three days, yielding just 26 combined birdies.
Secondary flight winners included Kyle Bailey (second flight), Zack Henry (third flight) and Zac Verses (fourth flight).View results for VSGA Mid-Amateur
ABOUT THE VSGA Mid-Amateur
54-hole stroke play competition (18 holes per day),
with the field being cut to the low 45 and ties for the
final round. Open to VSGA members who will be at
least 25 years of age holding an active GHIN
issued by a licensed VSGA Member Club in good
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