RJ Keur's name will be engraved on the Richard S. Tufts trophy as the winner of the 103rd Carolinas Amateur Championship. Keur claimed his second CGA title of the summer in record fashion, capping his performance Sunday with his fourth round in the 60s at The Golf Club at Briar's Creek (65-66-69-69). Leading after each of the rounds, Keur is the first wire-to-wire winner in the championship's stroke-play format era.
Along the way to victory, the Summerville, S.C. native tallied a handful of other scoring records since the Carolinas Amateur went to a stroke-play format in 2010: lowest 36-hole score (-13), lowest 54-hole score (-16), and largest margin of victory (7 strokes). His 72-hole total of 19-under-par 269 was one stroke shy of tying the lowest winning score set by Carter Jenkins in 2015.
Keur becomes just the second player in history to win both the South Carolina Amateur Match Play and the Carolinas Amateur in the same year (Terry Ezell, 1989). In the final match of last month's South Carolina Amateur Match Play, Keur defeated three-time event champion Todd White. "These wins show my game is there," said the 21-year-old Keur. "They give me momentum. I know I can compete with the strongest of players." With the victory, Keur earns a 10-year exemption into any CGA championship for which he is eligible.
The lone bogey of Keur's final round, at the par-4 6th, was just his fifth over 72 holes of competition. "I didn't take too many drivers. I really just wanted to find fairways and give myself some numbers where I could make confident swings into the greens and have putts from below the hole where I could." Keur used that strategy Sunday to notch birdies on the first two holes at The Golf Club at Briar's Creek, then carded two more on holes 5 and 7 to bookend the bogey on No. 6. Following a two-hour fifty-minute delay for lightning in the area, Keur rolled in what would be his final birdie of the round on the par-5 7th. The rising senior at the University of Alabama Birmingham rattled off 11 consecutive pars to conclude the championship.
2016 South Carolina Amateur Match Play champion, Connor Bruns of Duncan, S.C. posted his third consecutive round in the 60s - a three-under 69 - to finish alone in second place at 12-under 276 (73-67-67-69). 18-year-old Ryan Marter of Columbia, S.C. finished in third at 9-under-par 279 (67-69-70-73). The top 30 finishers earn an exemption into the 104th Carolinas Amateur Championship to be held on The Country Club of North Carolina's Dogwood Course, July 12-15, 2018.
-per Carolinas Golf Association