Upstate Amateur Golf

Branyon takes the Fifth

Hear from five time Earl Wooten Memorial winner Josh Branyon.


Josh Branyon shot a final round 7-under par 65 to win his fifth Earl Wooten Memorial title at Saluda Valley.(GolfClub Photo)

Even though Josh Branyon now has his name on the Earl Wooten Memorial trophy five times, he still remembers the frustration of trying to get his first win in the event.

“I think I was second a half-dozen times before I was able to win this,” said Branyon. “I know it was great to finally win the first one and it is fun to win this one, too,” he said.

Branyon opened the tournament with a 2-under par 70 to trail first round leader Blake Williamson by a shot.

Branyon was tied with Brian Riddle in second place.

Defending champion Logan Hawkins was in a group of four golfers another shot back entering the final round.

“I knew I had to keep the pedal down because they were some really good players close. I just stuck to the game plan and it worked,” he said.

Branyon, who won tournament titles in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 got off to a fast start in the final round.

The two-time SCGA Mid-Am champion cruised around the front nine carding a 31 on his scorecard and taking over the lead.

“I started out really good. I birdied the first hole, eagled the third hole. I need to add up my putts I think I had one putt on the first five holes,” he recalled.

Blake Williamson shot a final round 2-under par 70 and finished second in the Earl Wooten Memorial. (GolfClub Photo)

Branyon’s putting was the difference.  He guessed he may have only had 22 or 23 putts for the final round.

Williamson played a solid final round, but was not able to make up any ground after posting a 2-under par 70 to finish at 138, four shots behind Branyon.

Past champion Robbie Biershenk matched his opening round 1-under par 71 in the final round for a 142 total and a third place tie with Brian Riddle.

Mike Hartin finished in fifth place at 147 while Hawkins and Mike Lewallen tied for  sixth.

Flight winners included, Second Flight – Zach Burnham, Third Flight – Brandon Masters, Fourth Flight – Austin Finley, Fifth Flight – Trandon Crowe.

Steve Graham claimed another title in the tournament winning the Super Senior Division.

Mike Rowland won the Super Senior First Flight and Joe Torres won the Second Flight.

Mike Torres won the Senior Division with Jim Barbare in second place and Lecil Fullbright in third place.

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