Patience and a hot putter turned out to be the winning formula for Zach Adams, as the future Gamecock
golfer won the South Carolina Golf Association’s Amateur championship at The Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach.
After being a solid second through the first two rounds, Adams took over the lead on Saturday.
His 4-under par 68 gave him a 4-shot lead going into the final round.
Adams had credited a hot putter and a lot of patience as the reason for his success and maintained that his
only thought for the start of the final round was to remain patient.
“Especially today because I got off to such a bad start,” said Adams. “I just told myself to be patient and they would eventually (his putts) start going in. This course isn’t easy and I just stayed patient and ended up making some putts,” he said.
Adams lost three shots in his first seven holes on Sunday opening the door for the field to think they
might have a chance to catch up.
Former Clemson golfer Crawford Reeves started hotter than anyone.
Reeves birdied his first five holes to go from even par at the start of the round to 5-under.
By the seventh hole he was within a shot of Adams, but that is where the opening surge stopped.
“I had my chances, but after the first five holes I wasn’t able to keep it going,” he said.
Reeves birdied a couple of holes late on the back nine to finish at 3-under par in a tie for fifth place.
Adams didn’t know Reeves had closed to within a shot, but he did know that one of the golfers in his
group had also pulled within a shot.
Francis Marion’s Carlos Garre benefited from Adams slow start and by the eighth hole both Reeves and
Garre where only a shot behind.
Adams patience was evident when he played through the rough stretch knowing eventually his putts
would start to fall.
“I didn’t know about Crawford, but I could see Carlos in my group. After he got within one, on the next
hole I birdied and he bogeyed and that cut down on the stress. I went to the back nine and did my thing,”
His “thing” was back to making putts. Birdie putts on numbers 9 and 13 and an eagle 2 on number 15 from 25 feet
got him to 10 under par for the tournament.
“I didn’t make my first putt until number 9 and then I was able to cruise on in with another birdie and
the eagle and a few pars, “ he said.
Adams lead had shrunk down to just 1-shot, but the birdies and the eagle built the lead up to 6-shots and left everyone else playing for second place.
And the battle to see who could finish second would go down to the final hole.
Adams future teammate at South Carolina, Nathan Franks from Spartanburg , was one of the earlier
finishers at 4-under par.
The rising USC sophomore was pleased with his play and a tie for second place.
“I played well. This is a very hard golf course and I was able to do some good things. Finishing under par
here is going to give me some confidence when I play in the US Amateur in a couple of weeks,” said Franks.
College of Charleston Zach Reuland moved up the leader board with a second round 8-under par 64.
He birdied three back nine holes in the final round to tie Franks.
The last golfer to have a chance to do better than tie for second was Garre.
He had a birdie putt on the final hole, but it slid past the hole and his par tied him with Rueland and Franks.
Well before the 18th, Adams had the tournament won. Even a couple of bad shots would not have changed the outcome.
On the final hole, Adams took his time, changed clubs a couple of times and eventually decided to lay up.
Adams took the water in front of the green out of play by having the patience to settle for a safe bogey 5.
Last year, as a junior, Adams won the SC Junior Match Play and The Blade Junior championship, back to back, finished with an even par round of 72 and won the tournament by 5-shots at 9-under par 279.
“I said I was going to be patient and I was. I’m pretty amped up about the win and about the upcoming year and I jut love the winners feeling,” he said.
The way he played and won the South Carolina Amateur gives him an idea of what he will need to do to have a
chance at the USGA Amateur in a few weeks.
“I hit my wedges good and obviously my putter was hot, to have those two things working for me at the
US Am would be great,” he said.
Just starting his college career in the Fall, Adams is already thinking about defending his championship.
“I feel honored to be the state amateur champion and I can’t wait to defend my title next year,” concluded Adams.
While the SC Amateur is an individual stroke play championship, Gamecock coach Bill McDonald has to
be excited by the finishes turned in by golfers who will play for USC in the fall.
A possible Gamecock starting lineup could include all five USC golfers who finished in the top-20 of the SC Amateur.
Adams gets the win, Franks was second with Evans Lewis finishing in 8th place. Gene Zeigler tied for 11th and Rafe Reynold tied for 18th.
The SCGA Executive Director Biff Lathrop announced the 2023 State Amateur will be played at The Patriot at Grand Harbour near Ninety Six.
Final scores from the SCGA State Amateur championship at The Dunes Golf and Beach Cub https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/3369649
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