Hot back nine leads Evan Myers to Dixie Amateur title
Texas A&M sophomore Evan Myers clocked four birdies in his top nine for a final under-66 round to claim a two-stroke victory at the Dixie Men’s Amateur held at Eagle Trace Golf Club in Coral Springs, Florida.
He joins a roster of former champions that include Doug Ford, Lanny Wadkins, Hal Sutton, Brandt Snedeker and Daniel Berger, to name a few.
After winning his second straight round of 71 on Saturday, leaving him two full-backs behind third-round leader Quentin Debove, Myers said he was “just trying to stay in the game.”
He did more than that, netting four of his nine inward birdies for a 66-6 under final round and a two-stroke win over Debove and Christian Castillo. It was a revealing victory for the Northbrook, Ill. Native, who saw limited action in his first two seasons for a talented and deep team from Texas A&M who are currently ranked fourth nationally in the Golfweek poll. / Sagarin.
“I got my ass kicked in college and it really helped me learn more about my game,” Myers said. The eventual champion found himself 1 over par on his last lap before draining an eight-foot eagle putt on the fifth hole of par 5. He narrowly missed a second eagle on the eighth hole par 5, but a birdie drove it to 2 under the day.
Myers preceded to pick up birdies on holes 10 and 12, then hit a 180-yard approach into the wind on the 450-yard par-4 13th at eight feet, setting up his third four-hole birdie that gave him the absolute lead for the first time in the entire tournament.
Was the only player in the final group to birdie the 450-yard par 4. He hit his second shot at 8 feet at 180 yards. This putt gave him the advantage for the first time in the entire tournament. He converted a 10-by-15 birdie putt that led to a nine of 32 and a final round of 66, good for a two-stroke victory over Debove and Castillo.
“It has been the best round of my life so far,” said Myers. “I was really comfortable with my golf swing today and knew I had to play to get there. I just had to wait for the shots to come in.”
Debove, a University of Florida junior, kept a two-stroke lead going into the final round and after landing three straight birdies at holes 3, 4 and 5, it looked like he might get away with the tournament. However, he returned all hits in the next two holes with a bogey on the six and a double on the seven.
The Paris, France native remained in the scuffle with birdies on holes 8, 12, 15 and 17 but landed two timid shots at the end of the day.
?? gIt’s just a crazy game, but I feel very comfortable with my golf swing, ”Debove said. “He (Myers) deserved it. He just played better than me today, so it makes sense. I know my game is here and it’s only a matter of time.
In the end, Castillo’s championship hopes were dashed by a bad hole when he made a double bogey on the sixth par 4 after his drive plugged a fairway bunker. After exploding it ended up still in the rough, then a bad approach 50 yards found a bunker on the green, leading to an untimely double bogey on one of the easiest holes on the course. It was his only flaw of the day in a final round of 68 elsewhere in the suburbs.
“In the end, one in six bad course management decisions cost me,” Castillo said. I take my hat off to Evan. He played really well today. “
Ylan Guerin Pozzalo, a 16-year-old from Aix Les Bains, France, netted eight birdies on his card on Sunday for a final round of 70 to finish in fourth place under 287. First-round point guard Manuel Barbachano from Mexico finished fifth at par 288.
Joe Nieporte contributed to this story
ABOUT Dixie Amateur Men
Historic Florida Amateur Golf Tournament open to former Dixie Amateur Champions, tournament committee guests and major amateur championship qualifiers. The Dixie has a traditionally strong field due to the college hiatus and a roster of former champions that includes many PGA Tour players as well as top amateurs.
72-hole stroke-play championship with 54 holes reduced to 72 players and tied. The field limit will be 108 players. Played at Eagle Trace Golf Club. Request an invitation to www.dixieamateur.com.
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