Hall Wins Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship; Cartersville's Branton third
KENNESAW, Ga. - Jack Hall of Savannah posted a 2-under-par 68 in the final round to claim his first Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship. The 34th annual state mid-amateur competition took place at Marietta Country Club, May 15-17.
Hall, who finished at 5-under-par 205 (70-67-68) overall, earned the victory by one stroke over Christian Raynor of Kennesaw, who came in at 4-under-par 206 (68-69-69) to earn runner-up honors.
Hall began the final round sharing the lead with Raynor after he turned in a 3-under-par 67 in the second round on Saturday. That day Hall posted seven birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey. To open Sunday's final round, Hall made par on one and two, then made his birdie putt on three before making bogey on four. After a par on five, bogey on six and par on seven, Hall capitalized again with a birdie on eight to make the turn at even-par. He made par on 10 and 11, added birdies on 12 and 14 then made par the rest of the way to seal the deal.
Coming down the final few holes, Hall was so focused on his own game he was under the impression he was tied with Raynor rather than having a one-stroke advantage. According to Hall, the turning point of the round came on the 184-yard par 3 15th hole.
"Christian had about 15 feet for birdie and I had about a 60-footer for a two-putt par. I knocked it about 10 feet behind and made it coming back. That's when the round turned around. Off the tee on 16 Christian missed a little to the left and I was able to capitalize and make par there. That's when I had a one-shot lead, but didn't realize it. I thought we were even. I forgot he hit it in the hazard on 16. I thought he made par, but he made bogey."
Marietta Country Club this year celebrates its 100 birthday, and this week's Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship marked the third GSGA-sanctioned competition the club has hosted.
"It's a fantastic course; very hospitable," Hall said about Marietta Country Club. "They made this one exceptionally nice for us. The clubhouse is beautiful and the facilities are first class. All of the employees were wonderful. We got to use these beautiful facilities on a beautiful weekend."
This victory marks Hall's first on the GSGA circuit since 2013 when he captured three titles. That year he partnered with Danny Nelson of Savannah to win the Georgia Four-Ball Championship at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans. He then won the Georgia Senior Championship on the Deer Creek course at The Landings Club in Savannah. In the final GSGA competition of the year, Hall teamed with Chris Hall of Mableton to win the Georgia Senior Four-Ball Championship at the Country Club of Columbus.
Bobby Brent III of Columbus (72-69-69) and Chad Branton of Cartersville (69-70-71) tied for third at even-par 210. Billy Mitchell of Roswell (70-72-69) and Stan Gann, Jr., of Bonaire (69-72-70) tied for fifth at 1-over-par 211. Dave Poteet of Suwanee finished seventh at 3-over-par 213 (71-74-68). Rounding out the top 10, seven players tied for eighth at 4-over-par 214 - 2013 Georgia Mid-Amateur champion Cameron Hooper of Atlanta (73-71-70); 2004 Georgia Mid-Amateur champion Doug Hanzel of Savannah (76-67-71); Michael Bugden of Newnan (75-68-71); Don Carpenter III of Athens (74-69-71); Bill Sharpe, Sr., of Albany (71-72-71); Cres Dodd of Calhoun (71-72-71) and Mike Combs of Roswell (69-71-74). Entries were open to male amateur golfers who are GSGA members, Georgia residents and age 25 or older as of the first day of the Championship. The starting field of 144 players was cut to the low 70 and ties after 36 holes. The cutline fell at 14-over-par 154 with 77 players advancing.