Limestone golf coach Zack Siefert has gotten used to watching his players on the course. As coach of a nationally ranked NCAA Division II team there isn’t a lot of time to keep up with his skills.
Playing at his old home course, the former Clemson golfer, put together three outstanding rounds to win the Purple Power Greenville County Amateur championship at Holly Tree.
Siefert started the tournament with a solid 2-under par round of 70 and got better as the weekend went on. He posted a second round 68 but still found himself well behind the leaders.
Whit Suber, a two time county champion, shot identical rounds of 67 on the first two days to take a one shot lead into the final round.
Suber added to his lead on the front side at Holly Tree, but he started to have troubles when he bogeyed the ninth hole. He had gotten to 12 under par when he bogeyed the ninth hole and then double bogeyed the tenth hole.
Mac Johnson took advantage of Suber’s miscues. He had started the final round one shot behind the leader and wasn’t able to pick up any ground on the first nine holes.
However, on the tenth hole when Suber doubled, Johnson rolled in a 20 foot birdie putt to jump into the lead.
Johnson made solid pars and added a second backside birdie on the 14th hole to maintain his lead ahead of the charging Siefert.
When the Limestone College coach holed his short birdie putt on number 16 he had tied Johnson at 11-under par.
While Siefert had success on the hole, Johnson was not as fortunate. His tee shot drifted off line and his second shot landed in a green side bunker and left the co-leader with a bad lie.
Johnson tried to pitch the ball out of the trap, but his escape shot came up short. He had to settle for a bogey giving Siefert the leader.
Both golfers parred the 17th hole and the tournament championship would be decided on the final hole.
Siefert put his second shot on the par-5 finishing hole 50 feet from the pin on the unique Holly Tree double green. His approach putt left him with about eight feet for birdie.
Siefert had no trouble dropping the putt to take a two shot lead over Johnson.
The former pro had to eagle the final hole to force a playoff with Siefert.
His second shot ended up above the hole and just off the green. Johnson needed to make a 35 foot eagle putt to extend the tournament.
Johnson gave the ball an excellent roll and it missed the cup by inches. With the chance to win over Johnson’s comeback putt for a birdie horseshoed the hole and he finished two behind Siefert.
First round co-leader Chris Eassy, a former county champion, struggled on the front nine, but was able to roll in three birdies on the back side to close on the leaders.
USC golfer Keenan Huskey shot a 9-under par 63 in the second round to tie a tournament record. His outstanding round moved him within three shots of the lead entering the final round. A pair of bogeys on the front nine hurt Huskey’s chances of getting closer.
Robert Lutomski matched Siefert with a 7-under par 65 yo tie for the best final round and also tie Huskey for fourth place.
The Allison Cup, which goes to the club that has the best score among its members playing in the championship went to the home standing Holly Tree Country Club. Holly Tree had tied with Green Valley Country Club but won the Cup on a tie breaker.
Tournament Video Highlights and Interview
Purple Power Greenville County Amateur Final
Zack Siefert 70 68 65 203
Mac Johnson 69 66 70 205
Chris Eassy 67 71 68 206
Keenan Huskey 74 63 71 208
Robert Lutomski 75 68 65 208
Matt Carter 72 66 71 209
Whit Suber 67 67 75 209
Todd Hendley 69 74 69 212
Josh Chay 68 73 72 213
Yancey Johnson 73 73 68 214
Danny Brock 73 73 69 215
Garland Ferrell 75 69 71 215
Marcus Grumbles 70 77 68 215
Rick Cobb 77 68 71 216
Mike Hartin 72 71 73 216
Levi Moody 73 69 74 216
Tucker MacDonald 75 72 70 217
Cole Patterson 71 74 72 217
Geno Berchiatti 73 68 77 218
Ron Clontz 72 72 74 218
Russ Gillig 73 73 74 220
Mike Gravley 75 72 73 220
Bobby Hines 72 75 73 220
Casey Owens 73 72 75 220
Doug Ramey 71 71 78 220
Wes Reeves 70 75 75 220