Jones Outlasts Field to Capture Title
Florence, SC – Gregg Jones of Florence outlasted his fellow competitors to claim his first SCGA Amateur Championship. This year’s event, presented by McLeod Health, was contested over Florence Country Club, where Jones also happens to be the reigning club champion. The new SCGA Amateur Champion battled back and forth with three primary competitors over the course of Sunday’s final round.
Beginning the day tied for the lead with Parks Price of Longs at nine under par, Jones had an uneven front nine, recording three birdies that were negated by two bogeys and one double bogey. However, with thick rough, fast greens and testy hole locations, the rest of the field found scoring to be difficult as well. Third round co-leader Price struggled early, making bogey on three of his first four holes. Price bounced back with an eagle on the par five fifth hole, but faltered again with a double bogey on the par four ninth. The first and third round leader finished in a tie for fourth in his very first SCGA Amateur Championship.
While Jones’ third round co-leader struggled early in his round, Columbia’s Ryan Marter, also playing in the final pairing, got off to a most ideal start, holing his approach shot on the par four first hole for an eagle two. Marter went on to hold or share the lead for much of the round, up until the par four 13th, where a bogey left him one shot behind Jones. Two more bogeys on the inward nine left Marter finished in a tie for second with second round leader RJ Keur, who also made his presence known atop the leaderboard. After a two under par front nine, Keur faltered with a bogey on number 11 and a double bogey on 15.
Buoyed by the support of a hometown crowd consisting of family and friends, Gregg Jones steadied his play on the back nine, making decisive birdies on holes 12 and 18 to secure a two-shot victory. Jones thanked the Florence crowd in his victory speech, most importantly his wife for “putting up with him the last two weeks in preparation for this year’s championship.” The 2017 Amateur Champion joins a select club of former SCGA Junior Champions who have gone on to also claim the state’s top amateur prize.
The 2018 edition of the SCGA Amateur Championship will be contested at Dataw Islands Club’s Cotton Dike course. For full information on this year’s event including detailed scoring and pairings visit our tournament web page – 86th Amateur Championship.
The SCGA, founded in 1929, is the governing body for amateur golf in South Carolina. As a non-profit organization, the SCGA’s purpose is to promote, preserve and serve the game of golf. Made up of more than 270 member clubs and more than 50,000 individual members, the SCGA annually conducts 21 SCGA statewide championships, 71 one-day contests, ten USGA qualifiers, seven 40-plus tournaments and six special events. Other Member services offered include GHIN – the USGA Handicap Computation System, a Tournament Software System and support, Rules of Golf and Handicap education, USGA Course/Slope Ratings and Course measuring, Amateur Status information, the Palmetto Golfer Magazine and the SC Golf Hall of Fame. The SCGA also houses the offices of the SC Junior Golf Foundation and SC Junior Golf Association in a combined effort to support junior golf and grow-the-game initiatives.