Georgia Tech golfer wins second SE AM title in three years
By DAVID MITCHELL
Seth Reeves didn't feel great about his front nine in the final round of the 84th Southeastern Amateur golf tournament on Saturday at the Country Club of Columbus.
He was pressing, he said, trying to match Columbus High graduate Jimmy Beck and needing to focus on his game and have fun. It was a mission accomplished on his back half.
Reeves shot 4-under par over the final nine holes and 11-under for the tournament to overtake Beck and win his second Southeastern title in three years. He won in 2011, making him the 15th golfer to win the tournament twice.
"It's pretty cool," said Reeves, who is a member of the Georgia Tech golf team. "It's a great event. I'm really comfortable out here. I was surprised, I didn't know how I'd do coming back this year. In my mind, I was defending because I didn't play last year, so I didn't know what kind of pressure I'd have. I was really pleased, though."
After a decent first two rounds in which he shot 2-under and even par, Reeves came alive in the third and fourth rounds. In the third, he shot 5-under 66.
He entered the final round trailing Beck by a stroke and, despite three bogeys on the front nine, settled down to run away with a three-stroke victory. He birdied 11, 13, 15 and 17 and made par on the other five in the back nine.
"In the third round, I was just more comfortable," he said. "I didn't make any bogeys, which is what I'm
most proud of. You know, I'm going to make birdies out here, but it's nice when you can avoid mistakes. I made a couple in the front nine today, and I think I really started to try to play match play against Jimmy a little bit. I think walking down six, I just decided to play the course."
His total, 273, ended up being the fourth lowest score in the tournament since the course's renovation in 2002.
Beck shot even par in the final round, birdieing the 17th hole to claim sole possession of second place for the tournament. He led for the first three rounds after a 6-under 65 in the opening round of the tournament before giving way to Reeves on Saturday.
His round got off to a good start with a birdie on the par-5 first hole, but he bogeyed 5 and 7 to move to 1 over for the round. He bogeyed the first two holes of the back nine, as well, to drop to 3 over for the day and 5 under for the tournament, but birdied 12, 13 and 17 to grab hold of second place.
Sean Stone shot 3-under in the final round to tie with Ross Thomas in third place at 7-under, and Wilson McDonald was 3-under on the day to take fifth.
Brookstone graduate and Georgia signee Parker Derby tied for 10th in the tournament, shooting 3-over in the final round to finish even par for the tournament. His third-round 69 was his best of the four-day tournament.
David Mitchell, 706-571-8571; Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.