Kevin Roberts played three great rounds of golf and dominated the Coca-Cola Spartanburg County Amateur at Woodfin Ridge. His three day total of 199 is believed to have set a new record for the 54 hole event and earned Roberts his second county championship.
Roberts finished with a 7 under par 65 in the final round. It was enough to claim an eight shot victory over Chapman High School golfer Jacob Bridgeman.
The two-time SCGA Tournament of Champions winner shared the first round lead with Jeff Horton as each golfer shot a 6-under 66. In the second round Roberts carded a 4-under 68 while the rest of the field fell back.
Entering the final round Roberts held a five shot lead, but didn’t feel comfortable enough to play it safe. Instead he decided he had to play as aggressively as he did in the first two rounds.
“I knew that I needed to keep plugging,” said Roberts. “I knew today that I had to keep playing aggressive like I had all week. The tee ball was good and the putter was hot,” he said.
Several golfers tried to climb into contention. 2008 County champion Brian Kennedy shot a 6-under par 30 on the front nine as did Seth Robertson.
“I made six birdies on the front nine, but I had trouble keeping it going,” said Kennedy who finished the tournament with a 6-under par 66 and finished fourth.
Robertson had much the same story playing great on the front nine, but the lead Roberts had was too big. The North Greenville University golfer trailed by eight shots starting the final round.
Only Bridgeman was able to test Roberts in the final round. The South Carolina AAA High School champion got within three shots of the leader before Roberts was able to stretch his lead.
“I just missed too many putts,” said Bridgeman. “I had some chances, but I just couldn’t get anything to drop. I can’t be too disappointed. I had a good finish and played well,” he said.
Bridgeman played well enough to post his second 4-under par 68 in the tournament, but when Roberts eagled the 14th hole he knew things were probably over for him.
“I was very fortunate to make that eagle putt on 14. I rolled in about a 30 footer from just off the green. When I did that I knew that if I just kept my head down I was going to be okay,” he said.
Late in the round the leader had heard that a few players in front of his group were having very good rounds, but it was not until the 17th hole that Roberts had a good idea of how big his lead was in the tournament.
“I got some confusing information out on the course. I was told there were a couple of golfers who were eight or nine under for the day. It would have put them pretty close to me, but as it turned out their scores were for the tournament not just the final round,” he said.
Roberts added birdies on number 17 and 18 to shoot a 7-under par 65. He overcame his concern of stumbling in the final round to win convincingly as he fired the lowest round in the championship this year.
“With a five shot lead everyone expects you to win. I was not much at ease this morning. All I could think about was don’t lose a five shot lead. Once I got out there I finally had peace. I’m not going to lie to you I prayed all morning, keep me calm. Today was special,” he said.
After the top four finishers first round co-leader Horton and Max Fain finished in a tie for fifth at 210.
Flight winners included, First Flight – Seth Robertson, Second Flight – Forrest Fowler, Third Flight – Trevor Phillips, Fourth Flight – Jesse Wall, Fifth Flight – Will Hollenbach, Sixth Flight – James McIntosh, Seventh Flight – Steven Callicut, Eighth Flight – Patrick Gosnell, Ninth Flight – Dustin Newman.
The tournament proceeds go to support The First Tee of Spartanburg.
Interview with Kevin Roberts