Pittsford, NY – Adding its greatest achievement to an already successful 2022 schedule, Georgia Tech’s Bartley Forrester dug for an eagle on the 17the hole to protect a dwindling lead and took a three-stroke win at 81st Invitation Monroe.
Forrester finished the tournament with an 11-under 269 total for the four-round event. Ohio State senior Jackson Chandler used a late charge to finish three shots at 8-under 272, while Rutgers senior Luke Wells was third at 7-under 273.
The rising Yellow Jacket elder had put up rounds of 69-65-64 in the first three rounds to build a six-stroke lead heading into the final day. But he was 3-over for his turn through 16 holes on Saturday, and his lead had narrowed to just one after Chandler birdied the par-3 16e.
Forrester teeed off at 17, a par-4 measuring 407 yards, and hit a solid drive, then shook his 72-yard corner for an eagle 2, restoring his lead to three strokes after Chandler made the par . Both players parried on 18e.
“That shot (out of 17) basically won the tournament for me,” said Forrester, ranked 113th by the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR). “I kind of let the lead slip away on the back nine, so I knew I had to shake things up on the last two holes. I hit this record really well all week and just got up and smashed one in the middle.
“I would say my corner game was probably the strength of my game, so I had a good number. I was trying to jump him, probably landing him seven or eight feet short and bouncing him up there, but he ended up flying right into the cut. I don’t know if I’ve ever flown a wedge like this before, so that was pretty cool.
Said Chandler, whose last-round 68 was one of four under-par scores on Saturday: “I hit my approach on 17 at about 12 feet and then he stole his approach into the hole. It was cool to see, but rather bittersweet.
After a bogeyless run on Friday, Forrester’s score on Saturday included five bogeys and two birdies. His Tech teammates, seniors Connor Howe and Andy Maotied for 18e place with scores 2 over par of 282, while junior Aidan Kramer tied for 45e up to 289 (+9).
Forrester became the second Georgia Tech golfer in the past three tournaments to win the Monroe Invitational, joining Andy Ogletreewho won the title in 2019 before his American amateur triumph.
“Oh, that’s awesome,” Forrester said. “I know my former teammate Andy Ogletree won here a few years ago and a lot of other big names have won here so it’s a great golf course and I’m really delighted to have my name added to the list of winners here.”
He is the third different Georgia Tech player to win a major amateur event since December. Kramer won the Rice Planters Amateur last week, while Howe won the Patriot All-America Invitational in December.
Forrester was co-medalist in the US Amateur Qualifier two weeks ago at the Standard Club in Johns Creek, Georgia, and tied for third at the Dogwood Invitational in June. His 2021-22 collegiate season included a share of the Calusa Cup title and three other top-10 finishes, and he was the Yellow Jackets’ top NCAA championship finisher, tied for 15.e square. The Gainesville, Georgia native was on the All-Atlantic Coast conference team and earned honorable mention All-America recognition by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Next up for Forrester is the Southern Amateur next week in St. Simons Island, Georgia, and he’s expected to play the Western Amateur in Highland Park, Illinois in early August before competing in the US Amateur, August 15. to August 21 in Paramus, New Jersey
Forrester finished three shots ahead of Ohio State senior Jackson Chandler (right) and four ahead of Rutgers senior Luke Wells (left). (photos by Jamie Germano)
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