If there was one tournament Adam Black has wanted to win more than any other it had to be the J.P. Traynham Invitational at Paris Mountain.
“I grew up just on the other side of the course and played high school golf here,” he said. “My dad is still a member, this is a special golf course for me,” he said.
Black now can put a Traynham title on his resume as he out-dueled Brad Sill for a memorable win with a birdie on the final hole.
Black, who had been a regular participant in weekend club events around the Upstate was playing in his first weekend tournament in over three years.
“I had not had weekends off in a long time, but my job has changed and now I can get out some weekends to play and I’m pretty happy this is the first one I could play,” he said.
Black shared the first round lead with Brad Sill as each golfer posted 3-under par rounds of 69.
In the final round, the two leaders where never more than a shot apart.
With the two tied going to the final hole, Black pulled out a driver and crushed it. His second shot reached the edge of the green on the par-5 hole and his next shot ended up less than two-feet from the cup.
Sill had to gamble with his birdie attempt and pushed it well past the hole and had to settle for a bogey.
The largest lead of the tournament came when Black rolled in the short putt for a birdie and a two-shot win.
“I finished second here once and this is one I’ve wanted because this is home,” said the 50th anniversary champion.
Black shot a final round 72, just as Sill was set to card until he bogeyed the last hole trying to force a playoff.
Past champion Benji McGaha was third with CGA Senior champion Todd Hendley in fourth and Rusty Stegall in fifth.
Flight winners included: Second-Scotty Scott, Third-Lloyd Nelson, Fourth-Bradley Walker, Fifth-Jamison Belcher.
Ron Clontz ran away from the field to win the JP Traynham Invitational Senior title.
Clontz, who is a young senior, shot rounds of 66 and 71 for a 137 total and a 20 shot margin of victory.
Ben Cox and David Ellington tied for second place with 36-hole totals of 157.
Flight winners included: Second Flight – Mike Teasley, Third Flight -Tony Childs.
Paris Mountain celebrates 50th anniversary of the JP Traynham Invitational
Joe Pelham Traynham was an instrumental figure in the development of golf in Greenville. First as the greens keeper at the Greenville County Club and then as the builder of Paris Mountain. Country Club.
Traynham’s expertise was shared with many golf courses around the upstate to help develop courses and grow the game.
His family continued the tradition as owners, professionals, superintendents and outstanding players.
The tournament was created to honor his contributions to the game. Traynham saw the first few tournaments before passing away.
The Traynham was a welcome addition to golf in Greenville. When the tournament began there was only the Greenville County Amateur open to all county golfers.
The first tournament in 1971 was won by Dolly Evington.
Traynham’s son Dillard was a four-time winner of the tournament during an amateur career which included a pair of state amateur titles and honored by inclusion in the SCGA Hall of Fame in 1978.
Members of the extended Traynham family, Jay Haas and Dillard Pruitt are also members of the SCGA Hall of Fame.
JP Traynham’s grandsons Johnny League and Wyatt Traynham have both won the tournament.
Over the years the list of tournament champions mirrors the top golfers not only in Greenville, but in the Upstate.
As part of the celebration a special champions dinner was held and amateur club historian Joey Patterson pulled together files, scores and news paper clippings to refresh memories of past Traynham tournaments.
The unique characteristics of the course built by the tournament’s name sake often leads to highly competitive tournaments requiring imaginative shot making skills.
With more golf courses and more tournaments now being played, the Traynham does not draw the large fields it did when it first began, but it remains a significant championship for any local golfer to have won.
JP Traynham Past Champions
Categories: Upstate Amateur Golf