When Andrew Gregory was leaving Cheraw with the trophy for winning the Fall Challenge, SCJGA Tournament Coordinator Mark Elam asked if he would be at the next tournament, the Players Championship in a couple of weeks.
Gregory answered he would be there and he was going to win, again.
The Boiling Springs High School golfer backed up his prediction with his second straight win in the SCJGA Fall Series of tournaments.
“I guess I was feeling pretty good about my game after the win at Cheraw,” said Gregory. “I had been playing well and I felt like I could keep it going,” he said.
And he did in the first round of The Players Championship at the Hartsville Country Club.
Gregory used a pair of eagles to take the lead.
He chipped in for one on the second hole and made a “little” four-footer for his other eagle on 18. Putting two eagles on a scorecard for the first time.
“I’m pretty sure I would have remember if I had done that before, but that was the first time, and they came at a good time for me,” he said.
The second eagle was on the finishing hole and gave Gregory a one shot lead over future Vanderbilt golfer Rowan Sullivan from Charleston and future Presbyterian golfer Gage Howard from Woodruff.
He was just 18 holes away from winning two in a row and 18 holes away from wrapping up a season long goal.
The start of Gregory’s final round was the text book definition of a roller-coaster ride.
On the first nine holes he made three bogeys, but after every bogey he bounced back with a birdie.
Gregory made the turn at even par and then carded two birdies, with no bogeys on the back nine to finish the tournament at 5-under par with a four-shot victory.
“I was up and down today,” said Gregory. “I played the front nine pretty good and made a lot of pars. I hit a few bad drives on the back nine but was able to birdie the par fives, so overall it ended up being a pretty good round,” he said.
Howard from Woodruff and Charles Cauthen from Columbia tied for tied for second place.
Gregory topped a much stronger field in this week “The Players” than he did a few weeks back in Cheraw.
The top nine golfers in the points standings were all in the field at “The Players” adding to the value of Gregory’s victory.
“I might have felt some pressure in the past, but this time I just tried to play a good shot after a bad one, just one shot at a time. If I hit a bad shot I didn’t let it bother me and I followed it up with a good shot,” he recalled.
Florence’s Jay Smith and Indian Land’s Mason Kucia were right behind Gregory in the points standings and also were behind him at the finish in Hartsville, which unofficially for now, allows Gregory to accomplish his biggest goal this year.
“My goal all year was to be the Player of the Year. Confidence is so important in golf and as I was finishing today I had it. I told myself you can play golf, beat people and win golf tournaments, that kind of confidence is going to help me play college golf next year,” said the future Liberty University golfer.
Bridget Wilkie of Bluffton won the girls 13-18 girls division, finishing the tournament at 4-under par 140 to finish with an 8-shot victory.
“It feels great to be the champion. I’ve played in this event for the last three years and finished in the top five, so it feels great to get the win this year.,” said Wilkie.
Olivia Roberts of Chesnee and Claire Green of Okatie each carded four-over par 148 overall for the tournament to tie for runner-up in the girls division.
In the boys 10-12 year old competition Heyward Jennings from Greenville finished the 18 hole event ( played in two nine-hole segments) with a 5-under par 67.
AC Peake from Pauline shot a 77 to win the girls 10-12 year old championship.
Scores from The Players Championship https://scjga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/scjga22/event/scjga2224/contest/9/leaderboard.htm
Categories: Junior Golf