The Chanticleer Invitational began eight years ago at the Greenville Country Club course.
The first few years it was won by club members as the competitors tended to be from the upstate.
While the majority of golfers are still from the area, the quality of the competitors has increased each year.
Former college golfers, SCGA championship winners as well as quality golfers from other states come to Greenville to play in the event.
In the past few years former Clemson and Winthrop college golfers have finished on top of the field in the 36 hole tournament.
This year’s Festival of Flowers champion Sam Jackson and his partner Zach Herold broke out to the first round lead posting a 9-under par 63.
Two teams were within two-shots of the leaders. Former Clemson golfers Brent Delahoussaye and David May were tied with former Louisville golfer JD Lehman and Antonio Le Sauk.
Jackson and Herold struggled to start the second round and had fallen out of the lead by the turn.
Lehman and Le Sauk, also could not match their first round effort opening the door for Delahoussaye and May.
Delahoussaye, who is a member at the club, began the final round with two birdies and an eagle on the first three holes to take over the lead.
“I hit two really good shots to set up the birdies and then I holed out from about 60 yards,” said Delahoussaye. “From then on David and I ham and egged it,” he said.
The new leaders made the turn at 4-under par for the day and 11-under par for the tournament.
They padded their lead with four straight birdies to start the back nine.
May, who lives in his hometown of Auburn, New York, contributed two of the birdies to help build the lead.
“We were playing well, but there were a lot of good players out here,” said May.
Live scoring on phone apps kept everyone in the field up to the minute on scores from around the course and Delahoussaye and May could see the defending champions were getting closer.
Jordan Sease and Kyle Bearden started the day 5-shots behind the leaders and 3-shots behind Delahoussaye and May.
Bearden opened the back nine with an eagle on the 10th hole, Sease birdied numbers eleven and Bearden birdied number twelve and thirteen to cut into the lead.
When they got to 17 they trailed Delahoussaye and May by four strokes, but cut the lead in half when Sease rolled in a 30 foot eagle putt.
Bearden shaved another stroke off the lead with a birdie on 18 and the lead was now just one shot.
The tournament used a shotgun start for the final round and Bearden and Sease still had to play the first hole to complete their round.
Now with the pressure on the leaders came to the final hole with a 1-shot advantage.
Delahoussaye found the middle of the 18th fairway with his drive and hit his second shot safely over the water to the middle of the green.
He was left with a fast 25 footer for a birdie.
His first putt slid by the hole leaving him an 8 footer to maintain the lead.
“It was about 8 feet and I snuck it in there. For awhile it wasn’t close, but then they started making birdies and eagles and with the live scoring we knew what we needed to do,” said Delahoussaye.
While he and May were finishing on 18, Bearden came very close to forcing a playoff.
On his final hole, Bearden had a chip from off the green that threatened the hole and could force a playoff, but it just missed.
“It was so close, so close. It was fun to be in contention and we gave it a good run,” said Bearden.
The team finished second, one shot behind Delahoussaye and May posting scores of 68 and 63 for a 13-under par 131 total.
Delahoussaye won the tournament two years ago with another former Tiger, Stephen Poole who could not play this year so May answered the call.
While the two Tigers were not in school at the same time, they played and traveled together around the mini tours after graduation.
“Most of the clubs are already closed in New York, so this was fun to come back to Greenville. I lived here for three years after Clemson and I got to see a lot of old friends, and winning was nice too,” said May.
Kenny Cook aced the 16th hole to help he and Sean Rowan finish third at 10-under par 134. Ryan Parker and Craig Deberg finished fourth at 9-under par.
First round leaders Jackson and Herold finished fifth at 8-under par.
Categories: Upstate Amateur Golf