Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2014 Jack Nicklaus Award Winner Adam Svensson Takes Killearn Classic for Second Win in Two Starts

Barry alum one better in Tallahassee than Georgia alum Joey Garber, Virginia Commonwealth alum Lanto Griffin, Middle Tennessee State alum Chas Narramore, and back to back National Championship winner Bobby Wyatt from Alabama

(Tallahassee, Fla.) – Barry alum Adam Svensson (Surrey, British Columbia) has two starts on the SwingThought Tour and now has two wins to show for it. After winning a playoff against fellow Canadian Lucas Kim three weeks earlier at Harbor Hills for his first professional win, Svensson birdied No. 18 on the final day at Killearn Country Club in Tallahassee, Florida to go to 20 under, good enough to capture his second professional win in as many starts, matching SwingThought Tour member and fellow Canadian Albin Choi who accomplished the feat to start the season.

Svensson led Barry University to back to back National Championships as a freshman and a sophomore, earning the Phil Mickelson Award in 2013 as the top freshman in Division II and the Jack Nicklaus Award in 2014 as the Division II Player of the Year. After winning back to back events this season as a junior at Barry, Svensson decided he was ready to turn pro and it has paid off in a big way. Not only did Svensson earn back to back $20,000 1st place prize checks but, just like Choi, he earned an exemption into a Web.com Tour event, his being the 2015 Knoxville News Sentinel Open to be held in August later this year.

Svensson’s win did not come without drama in what some are calling the most exciting event in the history of the tour. Final round tee times started at 7:30am with the leaders going off at 9am. The leaders had been on the course for 30 minutes before a lightning storm, with tornado warnings, made its way to the area pulling players off the course. Six hours and 35 minutes later, and with just enough estimated daylight left to finish the event, play resumed. As the final group stood on 18 tee, with dusk fast approaching, it appeared bad weather would roll in again and perhaps revert the event back to being a 54-hole event and washing out the final round. The weather, and darkness, held off just long enough for the event to be concluded.

Five players finished just a shot back of Svensson, one being tied for the lead in the clubhouse at the time, three having an opportunity to go to 20 under on 18, and one needing a par ... all to force a playoff.

Former University of Georgia star Joey Garber was first up. Playing in the fourth-to-final group, Garber went on a final-nine tear shooting 4-under through the first eight holes and having a putt on 18 for birdie that would’ve put him at -20. His putt just missed and put him in the clubhouse at -19, leaving him to watch the final three groups finish and see if he’d be in the mix.

Web.com Tour member and Virginia Commonwealth alum Lanto Griffin was next up. Playing with Svensson in the third-to-last group, Griffin eagled 17 and then made an unbelievable 40 foot putt for birdie on 18 to go to -19 in the clubhouse, and a share of the lead for the moment with Svensson and Garber.

It was then Svensson’s turn as he drained his 10-foot putt for birdie to finish at -20, leaving Griffin and Garber a shot back after incredible finishes.

Web.com Tour member Chas Narramore was next to challenge, playing in the next-to-last group. Narramore was tied for the lead briefly before a double bogey on 12 set him back. Showing resilience, the former Middle Tennessee State star birdied three of his next holes and asking if the leader board (showing Svensson at -20) was correct as he stood over his birdie putt on 18. After an affirmative, Narramore stroked what appeared to be a perfect putt that just slid off to the side, leaving him a shot back at -19.

Next up was our final group with former Alabama back-to-back National Champion Bobby Wyatt at -19 and former Virginia star Bruce Woodall, who led the event after three rounds, at -20. Both players had just birdied 17 and Wyatt would need birdie on 18 to match Svensson and Woodall and he almost accomplished the feat. After hitting his approach shot just off the back of 18 green, Wyatt hit an incredible chip that was headed toward the hole but came up just inches short, as the crowd exasperated, leaving him to finish at -19. Woodall however found trouble off the tee. His drive had just found a right-side fairway bunker and, after receiving a ruling, he was only able to layup - leaving himself approximately 50 yards out and needing to get up and down to force a playoff. After Wyatt tapped in his par putt, Woodall would attempt his putt for par and a possible playoff with Svensson. It was not to be, however, as his putt just missed, leaving him at -19 and securing the win for Svensson at -20.

Svensson received $20,000 and an exemption into the Web.com Tour 2015 Knoxville News Sentinel Open. Garber, Griffin, Narramore, Woodall, and Wyatt each received $7,100 for tying for 2nd. Defending Champion Clayton Rask out of the University of Minnesota finished at -18 and tied for 7th with Kent State alum Mackenzie Hughes, each earning $4,230. Altogether the purse for the event was $140,000 with 59 players making the cut to play on Friday and Saturday.

The SwingThought Tour would like to thank General Manager Lori Wilkey, Head Golf Professional Dan Walker, Head Superintendent Jimmy Evans, Volunteer Chair Burt Mead, and the rest of the members and staff at Killearn Country Club for hosting one of the most exciting events in the history of the tour!

The SwingThought Tour heads to McCormick, S.C. April 27th through May 2nd for the Savannah Lakes Village Classic to be held on the Championship Monticello Club. Past winners at Savannah Lakes include current PGA TOUR members Camilo Villegas (2005), Kris Blanks (2006), Michael Connell (2007), Kevin Kisner (2008), Will Wilcox (2010), and Blayne Barber (2013) in his magical Rookie of the Year season. Other past champions include Kyle Owen (2003), Greg Boyette (2004), Matt Harmon (2009), Philip Pettitt (2011), Chas Narramore (2012), and David Skinns (2014). This will be the 13th event held at Savannah Lakes Village, the longest running event of the SwingThought Tour at any one facility. Tournament play begins Thursday April 30th and continues through to the Final Round Sunday May 2nd. The event is 4-days, 72 with $140,000 guaranteed purse on the line.

For full 2015 Killearn Country Club Classic results visit: http://www.swingthought.com/finalresults/pro2015023/#.VT6RFtJViko

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