Kyle Haas (Eastern Amateur Photo)
of Winston Salem, N.C., finished off his summer golf season in the best way possible. With a win.
Haas won the 66th Eastern Amateur
with a two-putt on the par-5 No. 18 from just inside 30 feet for birdie and secured a one-shot victory over Brandon Robison
of the University of Utah and Jack Schoenberger
"I putted really well," Haas said. "I made a lot of mid-range putts, which I usually don't make. I always hit it pretty solid, but this week, I liked the speed of the greens and made some putts."
The Eastern Amateur was the last tournament of the summer for Haas before he heads to Wake Forest in two weeks to start his freshman year as a member of the Demon Deacon golf team, where he will play for his father, Jerry Haas.
"I feel like I have played well all summer, so to see a good result heading into the school year is really huge for my confidence and shows me that I can play with these guys," Haas said.
Haas was the only player to post four rounds under par. The final round saw gusty wind and firmer greens after three days of steady breeze and temperatures in the mid-90s. The scoring average was higher by almost two strokes over the previous three rounds.
"It was the windiest day of the week, and it rained the night before the first round, so it dried out as the week went on, so it was a little firmer and faster today," Haas said about the conditions."
Haas knew as long as he didn't make any big numbers on the scorecard, he would be in good shape.
"I didn't hit too many wild shots," Haas said. "I kept it in play most of the time. Even with the bogeys I made, I was never in trouble with making any double bogeys. I knew there were birdies out there, so I just wanted to make sure I didn't make any double (bogeys)."
Haas bogeyed Nos. 1 and 4 before making back-to-back birdies on No. 7 and 8 to turn to the back nine in even par. He trailed Radford’s Bryce Corbett
by two shots heading to the back nine.
Corbett made a double bogey on No. 10, and Haas was tied for the lead with Schoenberger and Corbett at 7-under par. Haas hit driver to the middle of the green on the drivable par-4 13th and two putted to get to 8-under.
Schoenberger bogeyed Nos. 14 and 15, Corbett made bogeys on Nos. 12 and 14, and Haas led by two shots with three holes to play. A Haas bogey on No. 16 cut the lead to one shot over Schoenberger.
Robison made a late charge with a birdie on No. 17 from 15 feet to get to 5-under and two back. Robison’s tee shot found the left rough on No. 18, but he managed to get to the front fringe on the par-5.
Haas found the green from 240 yards and had a downhill eagle putt. Robison then produced the shot of the tournament when he rolled in his eagle putt from 81 feet to get to 7-under and force Haas to two-putt.
Haas rolled the first putt down the hill to about three feet and made the birdie to post 8-under. Schoenberger, playing in the final group, also found the green and had the same downhill eagle putt as Haas. He narrowly missed and tapped in to share second place with Robison.
Sihan Sandhu, a junior golfer from Ashburn, Va., shared fourth place with Corbett.
ABOUT THE Eastern Amateur
The Eastern Amateur is a 72 hole stroke play
event that perennially attracts a top-drawer field.
The tournament has been
played -- with the exception of 1977 and 1999 -- at
Elizabeth Manor Golf and Country Club. Elizabeth
Manor is a par 70 Dick Wilson design in Portsmouth,
The impressive list of winners includes U.S. Open
winners Curtis Strange, Ben Crenshaw, Andy Bean,
Hubert Green, Jim Furyk and Steve Jones. Other
notables who have played in the Eastern Amateur
are Lanny Wadkins, Arron Oberholser, Steve Marino,
Scott Hoch, Clarence Rose, Gary Koch, Bob Tway,
John Rollins, Fred Funk, Carl Petterson, Chip Beck,
Jim Simons, Ben Crenshaw, Steve Melnyk, Andy
Bean and Steve Liebler. Liebler won the who the
Eastern in three different decades and is the only
golfer to have ever qualified for the USGA Junior,
USGA Amateur, USGA Open, USGA Public Links,
USGA Senior Open and USGA Senior Amateur as
as representing his state in the USGA Team
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