June 17, 2001
Myrtle Beach, S.C. — Clemson rising sophomore Gregg Jones successfully defended his South Carolina amateur match play championship Sunday with a 2 & 1 victory over Clemson red-shirt freshman Jack Ferguson. The event was played at Myrtle Beach National Golf club in Myrtle Beach, SC.
It was the second major victory for Jones this summer.. The 19-year-old native of Florence, SC won the South Carolina Open championship a couple of weeks ago in Columbia, SC. Jones was a key contributor to Clemson’s #2 national finish at the NCAAs at Durham two weeks ago.
“It’s awesome,” stated Jones about defending his title. “I played really well the past two days but today was just OK, but I got the job done.” Jones birdied the par 5 first hole to take an early 1 up lead. Ferguson, who red-shirted this past season at Clemson, would answer back with a birdie of his own at the par 4 third hole to square the match. Jones then birdied the par 4 fifth hole to regain a 1up advantage.
An errant tee shot by Jones on the infamous par 5 sixth hole, named “The Gambler”, gave Ferguson the hole and squared the match once again. Ferguson then landed his tee shot at the par 3 eighth hole into the water hazard giving Jones the hole and a 1up advantage. Jones took a 1-up lead into the back nine of the morning round, then birdied the par 5 10th hole by sinking a 6 foot putt to take a 2 up lead. Holes 11 through 14 were halved until Ferguson rolled in a 5-foot birdie at the par 5 15th hole to cut Jones’ lead in half.
Jones would maintain that 1 up advantage until the 20th hole when Ferguson made a par to square the match once again. The match would flip-flop back and forth from holes 23 to 25. Jones made a 10 foot birdie at the 23rd hole, then Ferguson made a birdie at the par 5 24th hole, and finally Jones sank a birdie at the par 4 25th hole to regain a 1 up advantage.
Ferguson, who never led, would square the match for the final time from a conceded birdie on the par 4 29th hole. Jones then took control of the match by winning the 30th hole with a conceded birdie, claimed the 32nd hole with a par, and then birdied the par 5 33rd hole to take a 3 up advantage with three holes to play.
Ferguson showed a lot of fight by rolling in a 20 foot birdie at the par 4 34th hole to extend the match one more hole. On the par 3 35th hole, Jones hit his tee shot to about 30 feet and just his missed his birdie attempt to the right. Ferguson needing to make his ten foot birdie attempt to extend the match, just lipped out his putt and preserved a 2&1 victory for Jones.
“It was a real close match'” Ferguson said. “There are a couple of putts that I wish I had back.” Jones knew that Ferguson was not going to give up. “I thought he was going to make that birdie putt on #17, but it
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