Any event at the Greenville Country Club’s Chanticleer Course is special, but it gets even better when you bring in a field of top golfers for a tournament.
The Chanticleer Invitational has grown from a tournament with a good small field to an event that, this year, had an outstanding big field.
One way to measure the strength of the field is to look at the South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year Standings.
The Invitational field included 3 of the top 5 and 5 of the top 10 ranked players in South Carolina as the race for the annual honor is nearing an end for 2020.
Add in a handful of past and present college players along with a few state champions and the field for the 2020 event was the best yet.
The team of Kyle Bearden from Barnwell and Jordan Sease from Lexington teamed up to finish with a flurry and claim the win.
Bearden and Sease started the final round trailing the leaders by a shot.
The team of Clemson golfer Jacob Bridgeman and Robbie Biershenk from Boiling Springs opened the 36 hole event with a sensational 10-under par 62.
Bearden and Sease spotted the leaders a shot when they both carded a bogey on the first hole of the second round.
“I putted like crap for 12 holes,” said Bearden. “My partner kept me in there,” he said.
Bridgeman stretched his team’s lead to 3-shots with a birdie on the third hole before Sease made a couple of birdies. The two teams were seperated by those two-shots at the turn.
“We knew the kind of players in the field and we knew we had to keep making birdies,” said Sease. “We had to keep the peddle down,” he said.
On the back nine, Sease continued to put birdies on his teams scorecard and caught Biershenk and Bridgeman when he birdied the 13th hole.
On the 15th hole the lead changed when Bearden eagled the par-5 hole.
“I hit my drive left into the rough. I had about 245 in and hit a good hybrid to about 25 feet. It trickled in on the left side. I thought it was going to be short, but it went in and that is all that matters,” said Bearden.
On the par-3 sixteenth hole Sease made his sixth birdie to back up his teammates eagle. His team needed it, as Bridgeman birdied both 15 and 16 to keep his team just one behind.
Neither team would birdie the par 5 17th, but Bearden finished the final round with a birdie on 18 to give his team a 3-shot victory.
“Greenville has two great courses. Chanticleer was in awesome shape. We knew if we played well we would be in it,” said Bearden who won the 2018 SCGA Mid-Am championship on the club’s Riverside course.
“We knew we had to keep fighting and making birdies because the other guys were not giving up,” concluded Sease.
The team of Sean Bowen and Kenny Cook, who traveled from Indiana to play in the event, took home runner-up honors. The two Hoosiers posted a final round 65 to claim second place at 131.
Three other groups had chances to catch the leaders, but ran out of holes.
Greenville’s Brent Delahoussaye and Charles Warren eagled the 17th hole to get within a shot of the leaders, but a bogey on their final hole dropped the team back into a tie for third.
Kyle Milner birdied four of his final 6-holes to help the Spartanburg golfer and his partner Josh Branyon from Honea Path into the tie at third.
The team of Zach Siefert and Tanner Ervin also finished at 132. Siefert, who is Limestone University’s golf coach and the recent winner of the SCGA Mid-Am birdied the final four holes to also finish at 132.
The win by Bearden and Sease may also figure in an even bigger prize than the tournament.
Last year, Sease was the SCGA Player of the Year and his finish with Bearden may have moved his partner up from third place in the season long standings to the top spot.
The Barnwell golfer finished second in the SCGA Amateur, tied for 3rd at the SCGA Mid-Am Four-Ball and was 12th at the CGA Mid-Am in addition to being on the Palmetto Cup team.
Currently Robert Lutomski from Simpsonville, the 2018 SCGA Player of the Year is the points leader with College of Charleston golfer Logan Sowell in second place.
The SCGA Player of the Year award is expected to be announced later this month.
Complete tournament scores are available here
Hear from the winners of the Chanticleer Invitational