Robert Mize wins 2014 Georgia Amateur Championship
Only a handful of players finished in red numbers, the champion Mize at 5-under, and four others who tied for runner-up honors at 1-under, including Will Chandler of Atlanta (68-74-69-68), Carter Collins of Statesboro (70-69-70-70), 18-hole leader Trey Rule of Eatonton (65-74-69-71) and 36-hole leader Kelby Burton of Evans (70-66-71-72).
“This is huge. Growing up in Columbus and with Carter Mize winning; it’s huge,” said Mize on claiming his first state championship. “It is always a tournament I look forward to playing in. It was cool to see Jimmy Beck win it last year; he’s a good friend of mine. That gave me some motivation and confidence that I could do it.”
Mize’s final-round scorecard saw birdies on three, seven, eight, nine, 10 and 14. The only hiccup on the day came on the 466-yard par 4 17th hole, where he made a triple. His 275 total score marks the best at the Georgia Amateur Championship since the 2011 competition when David Noll, Jr., of Dalton won with a 274 score.
“I was fortunate enough to make a few up-and-downs. I made a few birdies,” he added.
Mize, a native of Columbus, graduated from Brookstone High School where he won an individual state championship in 2011. He also helped bring in two team titles in 2010 and 2011. He now plays golf at Columbus State University in his hometown, where he will begin his junior campaign this fall. He is the son of legendary Georgia professional Larry Mize, who won the 1987 Masters Tournament.
Three players finished in a tie for sixth at even-par 280, including Brad Davis of Lawrenceville (69-70-71-70), Matt Mierzejewski of Suwanee (69-70-69-72) and third-round leader Stan Gann, Jr., of Bonaire (71-67-66-76). Sepp Straka of Valdosta came in ninth at 1-over-par 281 (70-75-66-70). Reigning Georgia Junior champion Charles Huntzinger of Duluth (69-72-73-69) and Jacob Joiner of Albany (73-71-67-72) tied for tenth at 3-over-par 283, rounding out the overall top 10.
Bill Brown III of Dublin, who won the Georgia Amateur Championship in 2006 at Coosa Country Club in Rome, finished tied for 56th at 18-over-par 298 (74-73-72-79). Two-time Georgia Amateur winner, Noll, earned his first state championship in 2003 at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw, and second in 2011 at Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta. John Walker IV of Macon, this year’s Idle Hour club champion, finished in a seven-way tie for 34th at 12-over-par 292 (73-68-74-77).
Shot of the tournament went to Jamie Weeks of Marietta, who recorded a hole-in-one on the 177-yard par 3 eighth hole with a 6-iron during Thursday’s opening round.
After 36-holes of play, 77 players made the cut at 8-over-par 148 and better. Of those players who advanced to the weekend, nine had 36-hole scores in red numbers. Of those nine, only Fisk scored in the 60’s each of the first two rounds.
The Georgia Amateur Championship is conducted by the Georgia State Golf Association and brings together 144 of the state’s best male amateur golfers for the prestigious state title first won by 14-year-old Bobby Jones in 1916. Idle Hour Club has now hosted this event for the record eighth time. This week Idle Hour played to 6,727 yards and a par 70.
The Championship format was 72 holes of stroke play over four days. After 36 holes of play, the field was cut to the low 70 players and ties and anyone within 10 strokes of the leader.