Sydney Roberts turned in a record setting performance to win the South Carolina Junior Golf Association’s Player’s Championship presented by the Dustin Johnson Foundation at the Hartsville Country Club.
The future Clemson golfer opened the 36 hole championship with a 7-under par 65 to hold a 7-shot lead over her nearest competitors.
” I like this golf course and I have always played well here, so I had some expectations coming into this tournament. I wanted to take it as low as I could,” said Roberts who posted a 10-under par 62 to win a high school tournament earlier in the fall.
In the final round Roberts shot a 6-under par 66 for a two day total of 13-under par and an 11 shot margin of victory over the field.
Her final total of 131 was a shot lower than the record set by current LPGA Tour player Lauren Stephenson, who won the 2011 Player’s title with a 132 total.
Roberts set the new record on her way to a second straight win in the event, even after starting the final round with a bogey.
“I had to get things rolling after that, but I ended up making some birdies and an eagle on 18, so that got me going. It’s really cool to hold the new scoring record,” she said.
The second best final round was turned in by Roberts’ future Clemson teammate.
Isabella Rawl from Lexington shot a 3-under par 69 to move up to second place.
The boys championship went to a playoff before future Gamecock golfer Walker Jennings from Greenville was able to claim the victory.
Coleman Ferguson of Columbia held the first round lead, but five golfers were within a shot of the top spot on a crowded leader board.
Jennings started the day in seventh place after shooting a opening round 1-over par 73.
After Ferguson faded on the back nine the tournament would come down to a battle between Jennings and Harris Holstein from Orangeburg.
“I started off really solid. I kind of stumbled in the middle of the round but I put my head down going into eight and nine, made three birdies in a row,” said Jennings.
Holstein did a little better than Jennings. He made 4-birdies on the front nine to take the lead. On the back nine, on back to back holes, he double bogeyed number 11, but got the shots right back with an eagle on number 13 to hold a 3-shot lead over Jennings.
Playing in the group in front of Holestein, Jennings would stand at 1-under par till his final hole when he drained a 15 footer for an eagle and finished at 3-under par.
Holstein bogeyed his 15th hole and his final hole to also finish at 3-under par and force a playoff.
The playoff went to a second hole when Jennings won the championship with a par.
“It feels really good to be the champion. This is my last time playing in this tournament and this is a really good way to go out,” said Jennings.
Inman’s Andrew Gregory shot the best round of the tournament carding a 6-under par 66 to move up to third place.
Simpsonville’s Major Lenning finished fourth with Rowan Sullivan from Charleston and Luke Sullivan from Columbia tied for fifth.
In the boys 13 and 14 year old division Greenville’s Hugh Faulkner won his second straight Player’s title.
Faulkner broke out of first round tie with Charles Cauthen of Columbia with his second straight 1-over par 73 for a 2-shot victory.
The two-time Greenville County Junior Champion needed some final hole dramatics to get the win.
“We were tied heading into the last hole, and I was fortunate to hole out an eagle shot from the bunker so that was a sweet way to finish,” said Faulkner. “It feels good to be the back-to-back champion. This is one of my favorite tournaments, I love how the course sets up for me and I’m just excited to win again,” he said.
Cauthen finished in a tie with Mason Kucia from Indian Land for second place.
The ten year old boys title was won by Bennett Scaletta of Anderson who finished a shot in front of Hunter Hylton from Hilton Head and Landry Williams from Bluffton.
The girls 10 year old championship was won by Karsyn Herron of Graniteville.
The SCJGA contributed to the story. Scores from The Player’s Championship