After four sensational rounds at the Carolinas Amateur championship the only question left was what name would be put on the Richard F. Tufts trophy. Would it be R.J. Keur or Julian Keur.
The names belong to the same golfer. R.J. is the way the University of Alabama – Birmingham golfer was known as a junior and in college. Somehow when he won the CGA South Carolina Match Play championship he was identified as Julian.
“I don’t know how that happened,” he said a month ago when he received the trophy for the Match Play win. “My dad sent in the entry form and that might have had something to do with it,” he joked.
It does not matter what the first name is, the last name is on top of the leader board again after a second straight CGA championship for the Summerville golfer.
Keur flirted with the course record at The Golf Club at Briar’s Creek before settling for a 7-under par 65 to take a one shot lead after the first round.
In the second round Keur shot a 6-under par 66 and built his lead to five shots over future Wofford golfer Ryan Marter of Columbia.
He added another shot to the lead after shooting a 3-under par 69 in the third round and never was threatened in the final round. He finished with a 7 shot victory.
Keur only made five bogeys in the four rounds of the championship. One of the reasons for the outstanding control was that he dialed back his game off the tee.
“I didn’t take too many drivers. I really just wanted to find fairways and give myself some numbers where I could make confident swings into the greens and have putts from below the hole where I could,” he said.
Furman junior Connor Bruns from Duncan shot an opening round 1-over par 73, but he finished his last three rounds at 13-under par to end up in second place.
Incoming Wofford freshman Ryan Marter, from Columbia, dropped one spot in the final round after shooting a 1-over par 73.
The victory was the first wire to wire win since the championship became a stroke play event in 2010. Keur set scoring records after 36 and 54 holes.
He also became the first golfer to win the SC Match Play title and Carolinas Amateur in the same year since Terry Ezell of Rock Hill won both events in 1989.
With the win the rising senior at UAB also earned a 10-year exemption into any CGA event he would be eligible to play.
“These wins show my game is there,” said the 21-year-old. “They give me momentum. I know I can compete with the strongest of players,” he concluded.
The top-30 finishers earn exemptions into the 2018 Carolinas Amateur to be played at the Country Club of North Carolina next July.
The CGA contributed to this article