Ryan Benton sets course record (60) during final round to win by 3 strokes at GreyStone Country Club. The Auburn University Alum did not let the challenging championship course keep him from his first SwingThought TOUR victory.
At the close of round one, Chris Baker was leading after posting a 64 (8-under). Baker had 4 birdies and 2 eagles during his bogey free opening round. The first eagle for Baker came on the 9th hole, a long uphill par 5 measuring near 520 yards. Baker was able to score his second eagle on the back 9 at hole number 17. This reachable par 5 has a green protected by a hazard, but Baker managed to reach the green and hole the putt for his second eagle of the day.
Baker had a 2 shot lead over Ben Wolcott. Wolcott scored 6 birdies and 0 bogeys (66) during the opening round which put him in solo second place. Caleb Johnson ended round one at 4-under (68). Johnson was sitting in third place and only 4 shots behind leader, Chris Baker. There was not a single bogey made between Baker, Wolcott, and Johnson during the opening round.
Entering the final round at GreyStone, Benton found himself 7 shots behind the first round leader Baker. Benton wasted no time in climbing his way up the leaderboard as he holed out for eagle on the 435 yard, first. Benton then birdied 4 of his next 8 holes for a front 9 score of 30 (6-under).
Benton continued the impressive play by making a birdie on 10, followed by what he calls his most important shot of the day, a 4 foot par putt on 11. Benton then went on to make 5 more birdies on the back 9 for a final round and course record 60 (12-under). The birdies on holes 17 and 18 helped Benton secure a 3 shot victory over Caleb Johnson..
Following his course record setting round, Benton said he was “just trying to put up 6 or 7 under to get back into the money” heading into the final round, continuing with “when i birdied 10 to go to 7 under l was like let’s go try to win the golf tournament”. Go out and win, he did. The victory is Benton’s first career victory on the SwingThought TOUR.
Finishing in solo 2nd was Caleb Johnson. Johnson’s strong play at GreyStone Golf Club included eagles during both rounds of play. With his runner up finish, Johnson has finished 2nd, and 3rd in his 2 starts on the SwingThought Tour this season.
Nashville, Tennessee native, Stoney Crouch, finished in a tie for 3rd with Chris Baker. Crouch who played his college golf nearby at Lipscomb University, shot a final round 7-under 65 to move up the leaderboard. With his T3 finish, Crouch has now finished 3rd or higher in 3 of his 6 starts this season.
After a first round 8-under 64, Chris Baker entered the final round leading by 2. Baker got his final round started with 7 consecutive pars, before making birdies on 8 and 9 to turn in 2-under. Back nine bogies lead to a 1-under round on the day.
Rounding out the top 5 was hometown favorite, Ben Wolcott. The Ole Miss alum entered the final round 2 shots off the lead pace with an opening round 6-under 66. Wolcott got off to a quick start as he birdied the short par 4 1st hole. He then made 5 straight pars before making a bogey on 7. At the drivable par 4 8th, Wolcott got up and down from the left side of the green for his birdie, and to make the turn a 1-under. Wolcott added birdies on 10,12, and 14 but a made a costly double bogey on the par 3 16th. After making a birdie on 17, Wolcott made a bogey on 18 to finish at 2-under on the day, and 8-under total.
The SwingThought TOUR’s next event will be in Greensboro, at Greensboro National May 30th-June 1st. This event will be on the same course as the Web.com Tour’s Monday Qualifier for the Rex Hospital Open. This event also has a $10,000 First Place Guarantee. For more information or to signup, call 800-992-8748 or visit us online at www.swingthought.com