Trent Phillips played well in the first round, but he played some spectacular golf in the second round and came from four shots off the pace to win the Bobby Chapman Junior at the Country Club of Spartanburg.
The Boiling Springs High School golfer shot a final round 7-under par 64 to win the tournament by two shots. A finishing flurry of birdies on the last three holes moved the future Georgia golfer in front of his close friend Jacob Bridgeman for the title.
“I knew I had to make birdies coming in,” said Phillips, who becomes the first Spartanburg County golfer to win the championship in the 22 year history of the event. “It is pretty cool. I’m proud and happy about that,” he added.
It was not much of a surprise that the two top juniors would battle for the title at the Chapman. Phillips and Bridgeman, who both play out of Woodfin Ridge Golf Club in Boiling Springs, have won just about everything in junior golf this summer.
Phillips started the day tied or behind 18 golfers who trailed first round leader Nicolas Cassidy of John’s Creek, Georgia. Cassidy, the Georgia AAAAAA high school individual champion, shot an opening round 6-under par 65.
The two-time South Carolina AAAA high school individual champion predicted he would need to shoot a 7-under par round on Sunday to have a chance to win.
“Luckily the leaders fell back a little bit and that gave me some hope.,” he said. Phillips carded three birdies on the front nine without a bogey. Cassidy had three bogeys on the first nine holes and turned at 1-over par and was not able to keep up with the pace set by Phillips and Bridgeman.
The Chapman High School golfer started his final round trailing the leader by two shots and quickly erased the deficit. Bridgeman, who won the South Carolina AAA high school championship last spring, reeled off four birdies to make the turn at 31 and move into the lead.
The 2016 CGA Junior champion held a one shot lead over Phillips until the 16th hole. Phillips birdied number 16 to tie Bridgeman at 7-under par. He then rolled in a six foot birdie putt on number 17 to take the lead.
He finished off his closing trifecta by almost holing his approach shot on number 18. “It almost went in. It missed by about an inch. The birdie just added something on top,” said Phillips.
Bridgeman was two holes behind Phillips on the course and needed birdies on his those final two holes to force a playoff. On the par five 17th hole Bridgeman missed the green with his second shot and had to settle for a par. It left him two shots back with one hole to play.
The future Clemson golfer made a routine par on the final hole to finish in second place. Avery Price of Gastonia shot a final round 67 to move into third place.
Another of the Woodfin Ridge golfers, Harrison Corbin, shot a final round 2-under par 69 to finish in a tie for fourth place with first round leader Cassidy.
The victory in the Chapman adds to a very successful summer for the Bulldog junior. In addition to the Chapman victory, Phillips won the Palmetto Amateur, the Joe Cheves Junior and the SCGA Junior Championship.
“Winning the Chapman was one of my competitive goals for this year. I had a great week and I really enjoyed myself. My goal is to win as many tournaments as I can. I love winning. If you are going to play you always want to win,” said Phillips.
This was the third time Phillips played in the Chapman. He finished third last year and tied for seventh place in the 2014 tournament.
Even with a second place finish in the Chapman, Bridgeman’s summer resume is just as impressive. He won the Jimmy Self Junior Festival of Flowers, The CGA Carolinas Boys Junior, The Grant Bennett Junior, The Beth Daniel Junior Azalea and beat Phillips in a playoff for the Orange Jacket Junior championship.
“I’ve had a great summer and won a lot of tournaments. I’ve been able to be close in the tournaments I didn’t win and it has been a lot of fun. If I have to lose, I’m glad it was Trent who beat me. We are good friends and we love to compete with each other in tournaments and back at Woodfin,” said Bridgeman.
While Phillips is the first Spartanburg County golfer to win the championship he is the seventh Palmetto State golfer to win the 22-year-old tournament. US Open champion Lucas Glover won the first event in 1995. PGA Tour pro Kyle Thompson was the second winner.
Phillip Mollica of Anderson, Corbin Mills from Easley, Carson Young from Pendleton and Caleb Proveaux of Lexington have won the tournament.
The tournament is held in honor of the late Robert “Bobby” Chapman Jr. who was a long time member at the Spartanburg Club. Chapman was the only man to have served as both the Carolinas Golf Association President and the South Carolina Golf Association President.
The tournament has raised over $330,000 for scholarships and benefits the Spartanburg Foundation and the South Carolina Junior Golf Foundation.
Interview with Trent Phillips