William and Mary Alum, Charlie Kern, did not let tough course conditions at the Robert Trent Jones, Sr, designed Championship course at Tanglewood Golf Park, keep him from his first SwingThought TOUR victory. Rain fell for the majority of the 2 days.
At the close of round one, Kern fired the low round of the day, a bogey free 5-under 65. Turning at 2-under 33, Kern added 3 straight birdies on 14,15, and 16 to take a 3 shot lead into the final round.
Brinson Paolini (Duke University) found himself in solo 2nd after the first round. Paolini shot a first round 2-under 68. He made the turn at 2-under after birdies on 2 and 9, followed by 2 birdies, along with 2 bogies, on the back nine.
Behind Paolini, and 4 shots behind Kern, 3 players were tied for 3rd. Ryan Sullivan, Caleb Johnson, and Christopher Babcock all shot rounds of 1-under 69, putting themselves into the mix heading into the final round.
After heavy overnight rains, which continued to fall, the start of round 2 was delayed 30 minutes. The leader, Charlie Kern, quickly widened the gap between him and Paolini after Kern made birdie at the first, while Paolini made bogey. Paolini turned in 2-over 37, while Kern turned in even par 35.
Meanwhile, the other leaders were also hovering around even par. Ryan Sullivan and Caleb Johnson both shot opening 9 Even par 35’s, while Christopher Babcock shot a 2-over 37.
Entering the final 9, Ryan Sullivan found himself 4 shots behind the leader. Sullivan’s first biirdie on the back 9 came at the par 4 12th hole, with another on the 14th. Stepping onto the par 3 16th tee, Sullivan was 3-under for the tournament and 2 shots back of the leader. Sullivan hit a 7 iron, into the front middle hole location, and watched the ball disappear for a Hole-in-One. The ace vaulted Sullivan into a tie for the lead. After a par on 17, Sullivan added another birdie on 18 to post a 5-under 30 on the back 9, and a 5-under final round 65 and. 6-under total for 2 rounds.
Charlie Kern started his back 9 with a 4 shot lead, and he proceeded to make 7 straight pars. He made his lone birdie on the back 9 on 17. After a great up-and- down on 18, Kern posted a 1-under 69 to also post 6-under for the tournament, and sending Sullivan and Kern into a sudden death playoff.
The playoff started on 18 and after both men hit it in the fairway, then both left their approach shots short on the front of the green and 2 putted for par. The playoff then moved to the short par 4 1st. Both men drove their ball into the front bunker and both couldn’t get up and down for birdies. After 2 pars they moved on to the 3rd playoff hole, the long par 4 2nd. Sullivan drove his ball into the left part of the fairway, while Kern drove it right into the trees. Both men put their approach shots into the green and both 2 putted for par. At the par 3 3rd, Kern put his tee shot just short of the green in the fringe, while Sullivan hit his tee shot into the bunker. Sullivan left his bunker shot about 6 feet short. Kern lagged his birdie putt up and tapped in for par and then watched as Sullivan missed his par putt, giving Kern the victory on the 4th playoff hole.
Rounding out the Top 5 were Caleb Johnson, Christopher Babcock and Brinson Paolini.
The SwingThought TOUR would like to thank Chad Keaton and Daniel Byrd and their staff for all help they provided during the week. With all the forecasted rain, Chad and Daniel were more than accommodating in making sure everyone and everything was taken care of.
Our next event will be in Knoxville, TN at Three Ridges Golf Club. We are there 3 days after the Monday Qualifier for the News Sentinel Open. This event will feature a $10,000 First Place Guarantee. For more information call 800-992-8748 or register online at www.swingthought.com.
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Wholly owned and operated by Golf Interact, LLC. The SwingThought TOUR is the only Professional Tour in the country, to offer a series of events, besides the PGA and Web.com Tours, to include 72-hole (36-hole cut) tournaments, and a year long points race offering sponsorship opportunities for players. The SwingThought TOUR provides players the opportunity to experience all aspects of life as a true touring golf professional with a schedule built around geographical series and different varieties of championship golf courses to subject our players to any type of course they may face at golf’s highest levels. The SwingThought TOUR is operated by a knowledgeable staff who are PGA and USGA certified. As evidenced by the success of our alumni, The SwingThought TOUR is the most proven avenue to the PGA and Web.com Tours. SwingThought TOUR alumni have won an amazing 17 Major Championships. Most recently, 85 of the 155 players who competed in the 2016 Web.com Tour Q School Final Stage were past players on the SwingThought TOUR.
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