Pan wins Azalea Invitational

Cheng-Tsung Pan said his game plan for Sunday's final round of the Azalea Invitational golf tournament was to be aggressive and go for every flag.

And after a three-putt bogey to open the round, the 18-year-old from Chinese Taipei managed to follow his game plan to perfection, shooting a final-round 65 to pass J.T. Griffin and win the event in record-shattering fashion. Pan's 72-hole total was 265, 19 under par, bettering the tournament record established last year by Florida's Tyson Alexander by three shots.

Griffin also managed to better the one-year-old tournament record by a shot, shooting a final-round 68 for a four-round score of 267. Patrick Rogers, who is headed to Stanford on a golf scholarship, finished third at 67--271, while Charleston Southern's Jacobo Pastor was fourth at 67--272. Jordan Spieth of Dallas made nine birdies for an 8-under 63 and finished fifth at 273.

"I had a good round. I played really well," said Pan, who with the victory moved to No. 6 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com rankings. "I told myself go for everything out there. I did that."

Pan, who trailed Griffin by a shot after bogeying the 18th in the third round, finally caught Griffin with a birdie on the ninth hole, his fourth birdie on the way to a front-nine 3-under 33.

He did not let up on the back nine, pulling ahead of Griffin by two strokes with birdies at 10 and 13. He matched Griffin's only birdie of the back nine on the par-5 15th and secured the victory with three straight pars.

"I shot 68 with no bogeys. I just kind of ran into a buzz saw," said Griffin, a senior at Georgia Tech. "I missed some putts I wish I could have back. But I can't be upset. I didn't have any bogeys, and that's what I wanted to do, not give any away.

"I didn't hit it great today and the putts I had weren't quite as close as they were the past two days."

Pan, who has signed to play with the University of Washington, has played in the Azalea for three years now, finishing in a tie for third last year. He said the victory was his first in more than four years, and he hopes it will help his world ranking.

"It will help out my ranking so I can get in U.S. Open sectional qualifying and the U.S. Am, hopefully," Pan said. "If I get in the top 50 in the world I automatically get into the U.S. Am."

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 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

Latest in 

Amateurgolf.com, Inc.
6965 El Camino Real 105-631
Carlsbad, CA 92011

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram