PGA Tour

Rain and Rhein reign at Thornblade

Rhein Gibson, winner of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at Thornblade on Sunday 6/9/19.

After more than a month without a measurable amount of rain the drought in the Upstate ended over one weekend.

Rhein Gibson also had his drought end with his first win on the Tour after 105 starts since turning pro in 2009.

Gibson started the final round of the rain affected BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by Synnex two shots behind leader Micheal Miller. The veteran Australian golfer shot a final round 63 to make up the difference and go on to take a three shot victory.

“I really didn’t know how I stood until 17,” said Gibson. “I saw that I had a three shot lead. and I could just cruise in, that was nice,” said the winner.

Gibson caught Miller by the 6th hole with a pair of birdies and an eagle. He took the outright lead with a birdie on number 8 and built his three shot lead with back to back birdies on numbers 15 and 16.

“I just tried to give myself the best opportunities. I hit some really good iron shots and made a few really good putts,” he said.

The win comes after several weeks of fine play by Gibson. He finished fourth last week in Raleigh and a fourth and fifth place finish on the two South American stops.

“I’ve been playing well of late and it was good to see the results,” said Gibson.

The BMW winner was the fifth Australian to win the tournament in the last 13 years. It also gives the 33 year old professional a new head line on his resume.

Gibson’s career headline till this week was shooting 55 at River Oaks GC in Edmond, Okla., a round later recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the lowest all time score.

“That was very sweet, but I don’t want to be known just for the 55. It was good to validate that with a good win today especially on television,” said Gibson.

Gibson and his amateur partner Jerry Payne won the Low Handicap portion of the pro-am competition.

Miller finished second after shooting a bogey free 3-under par 68. He finished the rain shortened 54 hole tournament at 18-under par.

The stop and start play each day of the tournament tested the players patience. Gibson’s second round was typical of what most golfers endured for the three days of play.

“Friday was a very long day. I got to the course at 5:40 am and didn’t finish until 7 PM. We were on and off the course all day. I just tried to keep doing what I was doing and it worked out for me this week,” said Gibson.

Miller played a very good final round, but finished second after shooting a bogey free 3-under par 68. He finished the rain shortened 54 hole tournament at 18-under par.

Wofford grad Andrew Novak had the best finish among golfers with local connections. Novak started the final round in the top-10.

However, shooting a 2-under par 69 in the final round dropped the former SCGA Amateur champion 15 spots into a tie for 24th place.

Greenwood’s Ben Martin suffered a similar fate in the final round. The first round co-leader started with an 8-under par 63, but only shaved two more shots off par in the final two rounds.

The tournament provided a comeback opportunity for Martin who has been out of action on the PGA Tour recovering from a back injury since January.

Martin shot an even par final round 71 and finished in a tie for 43rd with fellow South Carolinian Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey.

2013 BMW champion Mark Anderson finished at 7-under par in a tie for 67th. Anderson maintained his place in the top-25 on the Tour season points race. Anderson is now 5th on the points list.

In addition to Payne other winners in the pro-am competition included, Low Handicap Celebrity, Lucas Black, star of NCIS New Orleans, High Handicap Celebrity, Shep Rose from reality show Southern Charm and High Handicap Amateur Chad Schuchmann.

Featured charities benefiting from this year’s tournament included: Cliffs Residents Outreach,
Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Upstate and Roper Mountain
Science Center.

The tournament will return to the Upstate for the 2020 Tour season on June 1st.






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