Pan takes title at Azalea Invitational

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (March 27, 2011) -- Cheng Tsung Pan will climb further up the Golfweek/ Player Rankings after a 6- under 65 vaulted him past third round leader John- Tyler Griffin for a major victory at the Azalea Amateur. (A story from Tommy Braswell of the Post Courier will be posted shortly.)

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Previously posted:

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (March 26, 2011) -- Georgia Tech senior John-Tyler Griffin fired a 7-under 64 Saturday at the Country Club of Charleston, but he only made up one stroke on 36-hole co-leader Cheng Tsung Pan of Taiwan, who posted 65.

The two will be paired in Sunday's final round with Emiliano Grillo, four strokes back of Griffin at 203. Like Cheng Tsung Pan, Grillo (of Argentina) attends the IMG Leadbetter Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He is a former Callaway Junior World Champion.

Dallas Cowboys star Tony Romo was looking like a sure thing to miss the cut and head home after a pair of 75's; he showed he can be a clutch player in more than one sport as he rallied back with a 68 to make the cut, right on the number of 218.

Previously posted:

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina (March 25, 2011) -- Another top-notch field has assembled at the Country Club of Charleston for the Azalea Invitational, the cream has risen to the top while the most famous player in the field (Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys) has slid further down the leaderboard.

Tied for the lead are current World No. 9 (Golfweek/ m Player Rankings) Cheng Tsung Pan of Taiwan, and John-Tyler Griffin of Wilson, North Carolina. Both players stand at 7-under 135 at the 6600 yard, par-71 Seth Raynor design (c. 1925) that was restored by architect Brian Silva in 2006. They are trailed by former PGA Tour player and Clemson star John Engler of Augusta, GA and Spencer Cole of Greer, SC who stand at 136. In total, eight players posted rounds in the 60's both days.

The two leaders couldn't come from different backgrounds - Griffin is from a sleepy North Carolina town of 50,000 people that boasts about it's "abundance of water and fast broadband speeds" while Pan (which is his nickname because it's easier to say) came to the IMG Leadbetter Academy in Bradenton in 2007 from Taiwan with no English skills and three years later was blogging for Golfweek. Georgia Tech senior Tyler-Griffin is no stranger to going low in medal play - he was medalist at the 2010 USGA Publinx Championship in Greensboro.

As for Tony Romo, there is no doubt that he has the golf game to compete at this level but this year's showing (75-75=150) puts him in 78th place. He missed the cut in 2010, but had top-40 finishes in both 2008 and 2009. To view results, click the tournament link above, or the results link at the bottom of the page.

previously reported:

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina (March 24, 2011) -- Former champion John Engler of Augusta and Todd Mitchell, the Illinois Mid- Amateur champion, both shot 4-under-par 67 to tie for the first-round lead in the Azalea Invitational at the Country Club of Charleston.

They are one stroke ahead of a six-player group tied for third at 3-under 68.

Engler, the 1997 Azalea Invitational champion, played the PGA Tour in 2006, amazingly earning his Tour card two-and-a- half years after a severe auto accident which severed his ankle so badly he wondered if he would ever walk again.

The 27-year old native of Augusta, Georgia earned card by finishing in a tie for 13th at Q- school in 2005, but earnings of just over $72,000 in the 2006 PGA Tour season were not nearly enough to make the top 125.

On Thursday, he shot 1-under 35 on the front side, and after making bogey at the par-3 11th closed out with birdies at 12, 14, 15 and 16 for a back-nine 32.

Mitchell, the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner- up, was 2 under on the front nine, bogeyed the par-4 13th and then followed that with a birdie and eagle on the next two holes.

Results: Azalea Invitational
1Chinese TaipeiCheng-Tsung PanChinese Taipei100068-67-65-65--265
2NCJohn-Tyler GriffinWilson, NC70069-66-64-68--267
3INPatrick RodgersAvon, IN50068-69-67-67--271
4SpainJacobo PastorSpain50070-68-67-67--272
5TXJordan SpiethDallas, TX50070-72-68-63--273

View full results for Azalea Invitational

ABOUT THE Azalea Invitational

72-hole stroke play championship with a 54-hole cut on a 1925 Seth Raynor design. Good mix of college players, juniors and mid amateurs. 7 spots available in a qualifier. Impressive list of past champions at this traditional event. Reigning USGA champs often use this tournament as a tune-up for the Masters.

View Complete Tournament Information

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