+ College Golf

Sun shines at the Upstate Amateur

USC Upstate senior Sun Paripunna shot a final round 6-under par 66 to win the Upstate Amateur at Green Valley. (GolfClub Photo)

It was a cloudy day for the final round of the Sixth Upstate Amateur championship, but Sun shined anyway.

USC Upstate senior golfer Sun Paripunna shot a 6-under par 66 to claim the championship at Green Valley Country Club.

He managed to post a two day total of 135 without the assistance of a practice round. The first time he played the course was in the first round of the tournament.

Paripunna broke out of a six way tie for the lead after round one. The USC Upstate golfer from Bangkok, Thailand shot a 3-under par 69 to be tied for the lead.

Accurate driving and precise iron play helped Paripunna hit 17 greens in regulation each day.

“I played pretty solid and had a lot of good looks on the green,” said Paripunna. “These greens were really hard to read, but I hit it close enough that I made just about everything today,” he said.

Because so many players were tied for the lead, Paripunna played in the second to last group. He was paired with the defending champion and college teammate.

While five other players shared the lead, Paripunna’s main competition came from Reid Bedell who posted an opening round 70 to trail the leaders by a shot.

In the second round Bedell matched Paripuna’s 6-under par 66 to put pressure on the leader.

“We both were playing well. We have a good rivalry on the team and we had the same thing going into this tournament,” said Paripunna.

By the end of the second round the two Upstate golfers had pulled away from the rest of the field.

Noah Mullins, Hunter Fry and Matt Smith all finished at 139 in a tie for third place.

Parker Fain, Russ Gillig and former champion Kevin Roberts all tied for sixth place at 140.

2019 Greenville County Amateur champion Cole Patterson and William Brooks tied for 10th place.

Paripunna spent part of the summer back home in Thailand and had some success in local tournaments before returning to the Upstate.

“This win is important for me because it will give me some momentum going into the regular season,” he said.

Last year at Upstate Paripunna played in eight events for the Spartans.

Since the Upstate Amateur tournament began it has seen an influx of college golfers who play in the event to get tuned up for the new fall golf season. over one third of the field was made up of current college golfers.

This year almost the entire USC Upstate team played in the tournament. Paripunna joked that golf coach Todd Lawton would use the results as a part of the qualifying schedule to see who can play in the first event of the season.

Upstate Amateur Flight winners included, First Flight –  Gage Carnes, with Eric Shea in second place.

Second Flight – Ben Goforth with Cecil Whitmire in second place.

Third Flight – Sean Sanistreet with Jirapon Kluaymaigarm in second place.


Complete Upstate Amateur Scores http://www.upstategolfclub.com

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