Colby Patton had been away from competitive golf for most of the summer. As a new freshman at Clemson he spent the time between high school graduation and the start of his freshman year in Summer School.
“I didn’t play any competitive golf for about three months,” said Patton. “I practiced a lot, but that is different then playing in a tournament,” he said.
Patton got his first chance to play in a college tournament when he qualified as an individual entrant to play in the Trinity Forest Invitational in Dallas.
“I played poorly in that tournament so I didn’t get to go to Oregon with the team and I got to play in this tournament,” he said.
Instead of entering a team Patton along with Coleman Self played in the Hummingbird Intercollegiate as individual entrants.
“When I got here I didn’t think the course (Country Club of Sapphire Valley) suited my game. I like to hit a lot of draws and instead I had to hit a bunch of cut shots. I practiced it and it felt good and I went with my game plan,” he said.
Patton shot an opening round a 5-under par 66 to tie for the lead. The Hillcrest High School grad matched his 66 in the second round to take the lead.
“Those were the lowest two rounds I have ever had in a tournament. After I shot the good first round I told myself that I was starting over in the next round and I needed to try to do it again,” said Patton.
Duke’s Evan Katz caught Patton in the final round before the new Tiger put his game back in gear.
“I was kind of in idol. I wasn’t gaining any ground and I was losing a little. Evan was playing well and was pushing me. I made a birdie on the sixth hole (Patton’s 15th hole) and that lit the fire again,” he said.
Patton parred the final three holes to finish with a two shot victory over Katz and Lewis George of Central Arkansas.
Patton does not expect to receive any special treatment because he won a tournament. He expects to be competing in qualifying rounds to earn a spot in the next tournament.
“I don’t expect anything. I am ready to qualify and play when I am needed. In the meantime I have got a lot of school work to catch up on,” concluded Patton.