Upstate Amateur Golf

Jackson wins Festival of Flowers Amateur

Greenwood Country Club Director of Golf Kevin Hill presents Sam Jackson with the Festival of Flowers trophy. Jackson shot a 4-under par 68 in the final round to win the tournament by a shot. (GolfClub Photo)

Sam Jackson played what he called a boring round of golf in the second round of the Festival of Flowers Championship at the Greenwood Country Club.

“Fourteen pars and 4 birdies, nothing really special just kind of a boring 68,” he said.

Jackson’s boring round included recovering from two bad shots on the eighth hole to save par and then notching a birdie on the final hole for the win.

‘I hit a driver and 3-iron to about 10 feet and made the putt, but I knew the leaders were behind me. I wasn’t sure it was enough,” he said.

Jackson finished with a 4-under par 140 total and then waited out the last two groups to see if it would be enough.

JJ Jordan could have tied with an eagle on 18, but had to settle for a birdie and second place.

Neal and Walt Todd were at the top of the field after the first round, The brothers had the last chances to tie or better Jackson’s score, but both carded over par rounds to fall back into a tie for third with Rod Overstreet.

Jackson had played in the event many times as a college golfer at near by Presbyterian and then as the assistant golf coach at the school, but it had been a few years since he recorded a runner-up finish in the tournament.

“I really struggled in the first round and coming into today (second round) I told myself I wasn’t going to play that bad again,” said the winner.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing here in this tournament. I’m glad to get a win in a tournament like this,” he said.

Lexington’s Jordan Sease finished in 6th place with Clemson’s Raymond Wooten in seventh.

Matthew Wiggens and Jared Crane tied for eighth place with Brooks Sims rounding out the top-10.

The First Flight was won by Winthrop University golfer Ian Faulconer with Johnson Shaffer in second place.

The annual tournament that began back in the 70s has been a popular stop for top amateur and college players in the state.

After an eight year absence the Festival of Flowers tournament returned to the course where it began at Greenwood.

The tournament was slated to be played again this year at The Patriot, but on course construction would have interfered with the championship.

“We are really glad to have the tournament back here at Greenwood,” said the Club’s Director of Golf Kevin Hill. “We hope it will stay here,” he said.

This year a field of 88 golfers played for the Festival and Senior Festival titles.

“We hope in the future we can get the field back to where it used to be, but for the first year its back at Greenwood we were pleased with the number and quality of the players,” said Hill.

Steve Leibler, who has won the Festival amateur title in the past, won the Senior Division title by a shot over another former Festival winner Walter Todd.

The Club Division title was won by Chip Whitt who finished 4-shots in front of Logan Pope.

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