Sophia Burnett came close to winning the Women’s South Carolina Amateur in 2019.
The Hilton Head golfer was in high school when former Furman golfer, Dawn Woodard set the record with her eighth state amateur championship, but Burnett made her work for it, going five extra holes in a playoff before Woodard won the championship.
This year Burnett wasn’t competing against a state record holder for the amateur title, but instead was mostly competing against herself.
The rising sophomore at Furman won the battle to claim her first amateur win.
“I didn’t have the kind of year I hoped for at Furman last year,” said Burnett. “I wanted to work on not letting the pressure put extra pressure on me. I wanted to get the summer off to a good start,” she said.
Burnett opened the 54 hole event with an even par 72 to trail first round leader and future Charleston golfer MK Talledo from Boiling Springs by a shot.
In the second round, Burnett stayed steady through her round. Three birdies and three bogeys for another 72.
Talledo fell back after shooting a second round 3-over par 75, but Chesnee High School golfer Sydney Roberts moved up.
Roberts posted the best round of the day carding a 1-under 71 to get within a shot of Burnett.
The Lady Paladin golfer knew she had the lead going into the final round, but once play started Burnett never looked at a leader board.
“I’ve been working on controling my controlables. I can’t do anything about what someone else is doing on the course. I want to go though my process and even if I don’t win I’m okay if I do that,” she said.
The final round was interrupted by a two-hour rain delay. Before the rain Burnett was cruising along making two straight birdies to get to 1-under par for the day. After the rain delay it was a different story.
“I was a little nervous when we went back out. I bogeyed the next two holes. Since I didn’t know where I stood, I thought I might be out of it,” she said.
Neither Roberts or Kennedy Carroll in Burnett’s group were able to take advantage of her bogeys, but Emma Schimpf was.
Schimpf, another future Charleston golfer, was shooting the best round of the tournament.
The 2-time South Carolina AAA High School champion would card a 4-under par 68 for a 3-day total of 219 to come from 6-shots off the lead and get within a stroke of the leader.
Burnett bounced back from the 2-bogeys to finish the final 3-holes at 1-over par and claim a 1-shot win and the South Carolina Amateur championship.
“I’m so happy to get my first win in a big tournament like this. I hope this win can propel me to a go out and have a really good summer,” she said.
Burnett is the second straight current Furman golfer to win the state amateur. Teammate Anna Morgan won the title last year.
First round leader Talledo finished in a tie for second place with Schimpf. Roberts shot a final round 75 to drop back to fourth place 1-shot in front of Morgan, the defending champion.
The State Division championship was won by Kerry Rutan from Yeamans Hall Club.
The Super-Senior title was won by Jeanne Atkinson from Woodcreek in Aiken. Betty Armbruster from the Carolina Country Club was second.
Complete scores from the WSCGA Amateur https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/6560052171763664585