Davis Shore looked like he could run away with the title at the Bobby Chapman Junior championship played at the Country Club of Spartanburg.
Shore had to hold off a challenge from the field in the final round to win the prestigious junior championship.
The Knoxville, Tennessee golfer held off the rest of the field and won the Chapman title with a record setting two day total of 16-under par.
The future University of Alabama golfer opened the tournament with a 10-under par 61 to set the single round scoring record in the 21 year old event. The old record was held by Matt Hoffenburg who shot a 62 in 2006.
“In the first round I couldn’t do anything wrong,” said Shore. “I was hitting it close all day. I was just feeling it,” he said.
While the 10 under par round and five shot lead looked almost insurmountable the way Shore was playing it did not keep the rest of the field from trying to chase down the leader.
S.M. Lee of Buford, Georgia and Boiling Springs, SC golfer Trent Phillips were the closest to the top of the leader board going into the final round and they kept the pressure on Shore and he felt it.
“I played good, but S.M. birdied everything it seemed and stayed close to me all day. I definitely felt the pressure out there. I knew I couldn’t make any mistakes because he (Lee) was going crazy out there,” he added.
Lee came within a shot of tying Shore’s single round record when he posted a final round 9-under par 62 to get within two shots of the leader.
“I chased him and chased him, but he kept getting away,” said Lee. “He just got too far ahead the first day for anyone to catch him,” he said.
Lee was able to get within two shots of Shore late in the final round. When he rolled in a 30 foot eagle putt on number 17 it looked like he might be able to cut into Shore’s lead.
However, the Tennessee junior champion had landed his second shot on the par-5 hole within four feet of the pin. He made the eagle putt to keep his lead at two shots going to the final hole.
“That shot on 17 was one of the best shots I have ever hit. It went 215 and landed about 4 feet from the pin. When S.M. rolled in his long putt I had to make it and when I did I pretty much knew I had it,” he said.
Phillips, who played the event after being in a dirt bike accident the day before the event, shot rounds of 66 and 68 to finish alone in third place at 8-under par. Phillips injuries were to his hands and was bandaged under his golf glove for both rounds.
Shore credited his short game with making the difference for him in the victory. He was able to hit his wedges close and make the putts.
“I had two bogeys and a double in the final round so i could have scored a little better. I had a birdie chance on the final hole and I missed a short putt, but by then I knew I was going to win,” said Shore.
With a couple of AJGA titles and a state championship Shore’s win in Spartanburg goes to the top of his list of accomplishments.
“Being close to home and being such a great tournament is just awesome. The course was great and the tournament was so well run, it was a lot of fun to play and I’m excited to have won it,” said Shore.
Besides setting the record for lowest individual round, Shore shattered the tournament record of 133 held by Peter Uihlein and Parker Darby at 133. Shore finished at 126 to better the record by 7 shots.
The 2015 winner will have the chance to win two in a row. Shore is a high school junior and is looking forward to returning to defend his title next year.
The Chapman Junior began in 1995. The first winner was future US Open champion Lucas Glover. Peter Uihlein won back to back titles in 2005 and 2006 before winning a US Amateur championship. Corbin Mills won the Chapman before winning the USGA Public Links championship.
The list of participants is just as impressive as the winners. Future PGA Tour stars Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Ben Martin, Brian Harmon and Bill Haas.