Upstate Amateur Golf

Branyon is Festival of Flowers Champion

Josh Branyon shot a final round 7-under par 65 to win the Festival of Flowers championship at The Patriot Golf Club.

There are horses for courses and Josh Branyon and The Patriot Golf Course seem to fit each other perfectly.

Branyon won the SCGA Mid-Am championship in 2011 at the course in Grand Harbor and added a Festival of Flowers victory to his list of accomplishments at the course.

“There just is something about the way the course fits my eyes,” said the winner. “Every time I play here I just have a good feeling about my game and the way I can compete here,” said Branyon.

The Festival winner broke out of a pack of four golfers with a near perfect front nine in the final round. Branyon made five quick birdies and added a sixth on the ninth hole to shoot a 30 on the front.

“I was hitting it close and making everything. I really didn’t have any difficult putts on the front nine and I think that is how I got into the lead,” he said.

Branyon had started the final round in a three-way tie for the lead. Levi Joyner and Matt Wiggins had all shot a 3-under par 69 in the first round.

Getting scoring information from the other groups in a tournament is often difficult and even after shooting a 6-under par 30 on the front nine, Branyon wasn’t sure of his position.

Club pro Craig Malone presents Branyhon with his winners plaque after the Honea Path golfer won the 2018 Festival of Flowers Championship.

“On 14 I knew I was 8-under par and I was told there was someone at 7-under. I didn’t want to coast in and take a chance so I got after it on the last few holes,” he said.

As it turned out no other golfer in the field was as close as Branyon had been told. The Honea Path golfer finished his round with two more birdies and a bogey to finish at 7-under par 65 to claim the win. His two day total of 134 was enough to secure a three shot victory.

John Schaffer shot a final round 5-under par 67 to move up to second place at 137. Three golfers tied for third. First round co-leader Joyner, Yancey Johnson and Peyton Shore all shot two-day totals of 140 to finish at 4-unuder par.

Liimestone College golfer Zach Bridges shot a final round 3-under par 69 to finish at 141 in sixth place.

Flight winners included B-Flight, Raymond Wooten, C-Flight, Jordan Warnock. Club Flight, 1 – Jimmy Barbra, 151, 2 – Paul Clark, 153, 3 – Chris Clem, 155.

The Senior Division turned into a shoot-out between three golfers. John White set the pace in the first round carding a 2-under par 70 to lead a group of four seniors just one shot back at 71.

Gary Odom shot a final round 5-undedr par 67 to claim a three shot victory in the Festival of Flowers Senior Division.

Gary Odom, Robin Alley, Marty Henson and former Festival champion Steve Liebler were all tied at 1-under par.

“I had a one shot lead on 14, but by the time I finished I had a four shot lead and the win,” said Odom.

The Hunters Creek golfer made a couple of birdies and benefited from some bad luck for White and Liebler. Both golfers made a double-bogey each to see Odom pass then on the final two holes.

“I played consistently in both rounds. The pins were in good places for me and I took advantage of them. I made five birdies in the final round,” said the Senior Division champion.

Odom had finished second in last year’s Festival and was happy to have moved up a spot to claim the win. Liebler finished in second with a 141 total. Alley and Julian Taylor tied for third at 142 for the championship.

The tournament is part of the Festival of Flowers celebration in Greenwood. This is there 51st year of the annual celebration.

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