Christian Constance looked like he would be a run-a-way winner at the Upstate Amateur, but instead he had to hold on for the victory at Green Valley.
The North Greenville University golfer had opened up a comfortable lead early in the final round, but a few hiccups in the middle of the round created some excitement.
“I tried to use the same game plan I had for the first round,” said the winner. “I wanted to stay level headed and wait for the birdies,” said Constance.
Last year’s Conference Carolina player of the year for the Crusaders shot an opening round 5-under par 67 to hold a one shot lead over Robert Lutomski. Constance’s teammate at NGU Vijay Mishra was another shot back in third place with a 3-under par 69.
Constance turned up his game midway through the first round after playing even par for the first eight holes. “I got an eagle on 16 with a 25 foot putt and that gave me the lead,” he said.
In the second round Constance got off to a quicker start. He carded a birdie and an eagle early in the round to open a five shot lead. A three-putt bogey on the tenth hole and a tee shot in the hazard on number 11 cost him a pair of shots.
“I actually made a good bogey on number 11 with a 10-foot putt and came with a birdie on number 13,” he said.
However, the up and down round continued as a pair of golfers were closing in on his lead. Raymond Wooten, who was playing several groups in front of Constance shot a 3-under par 69 to threaten the leader.
The North Greenville junior continued his up and down round right to the end. He birdied number 15, missed a birdie on 16, bogeyed number 17 and hit a terrible drive on number 18.
“I hit my drive so bad it actually worked out for me. The hole just never looks right for me off the tee,” he said.
Constance’s drive was so far right it landed in the middle of the ninth fairway. It was far enough back that he was able to clear the trees and land the ball on the green 15 feet from the hole.
“It was a terrible tee shot and I made a good recovery. My putt hung on the lip or I would have really been lucky to get a birdie, I was really happy with a par,” he said.
Constance finished with a 2-under par 70 for a 137 total. Wooten came in second with a 139 total and Jarrett Grimes shot a final round 70 for third place at 140. Yancey Johnson was fourth while Robert Lutkomski and Shane Grumbles finished in a tie for fifth place.
Flight winners included, First Flight – Brandon Bradosky, Second Flight – Brandt Williams, Third Flight -Tucker MacDonald, Fourth Flight – Jimmy Gaffney.