Georgia rising senior Spencer Ralston erased an 11-shot deficit in the final round on Sunday to win the 20th annual Players Amateur and secure a berth in the 2020 RBC Heritage.
“It was the kind of day that we as golfers hope for,” Ralston said. “I knew I was 11 shots back, but you have to believe you have the ability to come back so my focus was just on my game and doing what I needed to do. I picked up some momentum along the way and that goes a long way in a tournament like this. I am proud of the win and I am really looking forward to my first professional tournament next year.”
Ralston, a native of Gainesville, Ga., closed the tournament at Berkeley Hall Club with a 9-under-par 63 to wind up with a 1-shot win at 19-under 269.
Stewart Hagestad, who played collegiately at Southern Cal, was the 54-hole leader at 21-under 195 (on the strength of a first-round, course-record 11-under 61). Ralston found himself after three rounds at 10-under 206. But Ralston rallied Sunday on the strength of an eagle and eight birdies to finish at 269, while Hagestad signed for a 3-over 75 and wound up at 270.
Ralston will receive the tournament’s sponsor’s exemption into the RBC Heritage, which will take place in April on Hilton Head, S.C., one week before the Southeastern Conference Championship.
Rising junior Davis Thompson placed 21st at 10-under 278.
In other news regarding Georgia golfers, rising sophomore Nicolas Cassidy came in fourth in the Georgia Amateur Championship at 1-under 287. Rising sophomore Will Kahlstorf took eighth at 2-over 290 and rising senior Tye Waller placed 11th at 4-over 292