Phillips and Preus win SJGT Tournament of Champions
Tough, but fair, conditions welcomed our players at Willow Point, for the final round of the 2017 Tournament of Champions. Being the final round of the 2017 season, most players spoke of how motivated they were to end the season on a good note. Slightly increasing wind speeds and equally as fast greens from round one presented a difficult challenge, but many players improved on their round one scores. Our overall male champion was Ballou Phillips, after blistering rounds of 68 and 67. Taking the overall female championship was Elisabeth Preus, who improved on her round one to finish at 71 and 69. All our division featured some excellent golf in round two.
Coming out on top in the female 12-14 division was Catie Craig. Strong rounds of 76 and 74 gave Craig an 11-shot victory from second place. In what was a profitable weekend for Craig, she also picked up the female 12-14 points award for 2017. Rounding out the division, in second place, was Jordan Hodgson. Rounds of 79 and 80 gave Hodgson a 159 total.
The female 15-19 division also featured our overall female champion – Elisabeth Preus. As the only player in the entire female championship to card an under-par round, Preus posted back-to-back red numbers with her 71 and 69. Starting her back nine, Preus made five birdies in a seven-hole stretch to run away with the championship. Finishing in second place, after a strong round two was Ally Williams. Rounds of 74 and 72 gave Williams a 146 total and one-shot cushion over third place. The third-place award went to Sophie Linder of Bush Creek, TN. Linder fired consistent rounds of 74 and 73 for a 147 total.
Taking the male 12-13 division, with an excellent round-two comeback of 72, was Shaun Cook. Coming back from a round-one 79, Cook made four birdies in his final round and moved from third to first place. Winning the male 12-13 points award for 2017, Cook also had a very successful weekend. Finishing in second place in the division, and rounding out the division awards, was Thomas Fischer. In a close contest with Cook, Fischer finished just two stroked behind the winning total. Rounds of 76 and 77 gave Fischer a 153 total, which included three birdies over the weekend.
Despite being just 13-years old, our male 14-15 division winner and overall male champion was Ballou Phillips. Having made the decision to move back to the SJGT black tees and compete in an older age division, Phillips adjusted quickly to the longer course and fired two rounds of under par. His rounds of 68 and 67 were the two lowest of the entire tournament and were good enough for an eight-shot win in the division. A bogey-free, and 18 greens in regulation, final round extended Phillips’s lead throughout the day. Finishing second in the division, after being tied for the lead after round one, was Mac Scott. A strong weekend of 68 and 75 gave Scott and 143 total. Scott also made a lot of birdies over the weekend, carding eight over the two rounds. Rounding out the division, after a strong final-round 71, was Myles Jones. Coming back from a first-round 74, Jones made four birdies in his final round to finish one stroke ahead of fourth place.
One of only three players to card under-par rounds in both rounds was Thomas Ponder. Winning the male 16-19 division, Ponder shot rounds of 70 and 71 for a 141 total. The Dothan, AL native only made three bogeys throughout the entire tournament and looked in control all weekend. Finishing second in the male 16-19 division, after a card playoff, was Jordan Plunkett. His rounds of 73 and 70 left him two behind the lead, but a strong final-three holes edged out Carson Whitton in a card playoff for second. Whitton also carded rounds of 73 and 70, having made eight birdies over the weekend.
The SJGT would like to thank all players, parents, families, and friends for their support during the 2017 season. The year was a tremendous success and would now have been possible without your strong support. Congratulations to all our champions, we look forward to seeing you at Sea Island on January 14-16, 2018.