Last week Jacob Bridgeman topped a field of 108, mostly professionals, to win the PGA Canada Qualifying tournament in Dothan, Alabama.
This week the Tiger senior took the lead late in the first round and built on it in the next two rounds to finish with a record setting win at the Linger Longer Invitational.
Bridgeman shot rounds of 67-66-67 for a 16 under par 200 total and a 6-shot win and his fourth tournament title as a Tiger.
“I took the same approach in the final round as I did the first two rounds,” said Bridgeman. “I just tried to hit it well off the tee,” he said.
Bridgeman was sticking to his game plan and did not card a bogey until the 41st hole of the 54 hole tournament, and he didn’t make anymore.
“I didn’t make much (putts) until the end of the round. When I stated to see some fall in I put the hammer down,” said Bridgeman.
With a solid lead the Tiger senior from Chapman High School finished the final round with birdies on 4 of his final 5 holes to set a new Clemson record.
Bridgeman became the first Tiger to shoot three rounds of 67 or better in a 54 hole tournament. He also tied former Tiger and US Amateur champion Doc Redman for the largest margin of victory for a Tiger golfer.
“It was great to watch,” said Clemson head coach Jordan Byrd. “Jacob was so consistent the entire tournament, but especially as he closed the door on the field today. I followed him the last six holes and watched him make four birdies and a par. He was just very impressive all day. He hit incredible shots and made long putts,” added the Tigers coach.
In the first round, Bridgeman made 3-birdies and finished his day with an eagle. In the second round, he carded an eagle early and added 4-birdies to shoot the best round of the tournament.
In the final round Bridgeman started with a 3-shot lead and hardly glanced at the scoreboard.
“Once I looked at the scoreboard I was leading by 5. When you are that many up you can do what you want. I got within 15 feet and made a couple of putts and once the lid was off kind of like everything was going in,” said Bridgeman.
Georgia won the team championship due in large part to the 6-under par 66 shot by the Bulldogs Trent Phillips
Phillips finished second 6-shots behind Bridgeman, but when he sank his 25-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole and added a few fist pumps as exclamation points he insured the Georgia team win.
“Things were tight with Vanderbilt and I knew that putt could be big for our team,” Phillips said. “That’s why the emotion came out of me. I love being a part of this program so much, and I want to do whatever I can to help us win. This is great momentum for us heading down the stretch.”
The Bulldogs finished four shots in front of Vanderbilt with Florida and Clemson in third and fourth respectively.
While there probably are other All-American golfers who grew up on the same course and went on to have outstanding college careers at the same time, Bridgeman and Phillips are a rarity.
The winner and runner-up grew up playing at Woodfin Ridge in Inman, SC.
As juniors and high school golfers the pair won a couple of handfuls of state championships before beginning successful college careers.
The two represented and helped the United States win the first Junior President’s Cup before they entered college.
At Georgia Phillips has earned All-American honors. He has won three college tournaments to go along with last summers win in the prestigious Sunnyhanna Amateur.
Bridgeman has also earned All-American status. He has four college wins and his victory in the PGA Canada qualifying tournament has earned him status on the PGA Tour series starting in June.
Both golfers are ranked in the PGA University standings and both should improve their position after the Linger Longer Invitational.
Phillips was ranked 9th while Bridgeman was 13th going into this weeks play.
A top-5 finish in the rankings earns full time status on the Korn Ferry Tour. Finishers 6 to 15 receive an exemption into the second stage of Korn-Ferry Tour school.
Linger Longer Invitational Scores https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=player&tid=23469