SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Wells Padgett of Wichita, Kan., birdied the second playoff hole Saturday afternoon to win the 103rd Southwestern Amateur Golf Tournament over defending champion Jino Sohn of Honolulu in one of the tournament’s most dramatic finishes. Sohn – who started the day two shots behind the co-leaders -- had a great opportunity to successfully defend his 2017 Southwestern title on the first playoff hole, when he reached the 511-yard, par 5 18th in two. Facing a 70-foot eagle putt, he left the ball five feet below the hole, and then missed his birdie putt to extend the playoff.
Playing the 18th for the third time within a 30-minute span, Padgett seized the moment by hitting a perfect drive and reaching the green from 220 yards with a four iron. His 70-foot eagle putt came up four inches short for an easy birdie, while Sohn hit his second shot into a bush that resulted in a layup that resulted in a two-putt par. Padgett, a member of the 2018 Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team, said the victory “is certainly the biggest individual title of my career,” but not as big as Auburn winning this year’s SEC championship in which he made the winning putt. Reflecting on his four-iron second shot on the second playoff hole, the Wichita, Kan. resident said, “I thought about laying up, but then I told myself that I didn’t fly here to finish second. I wanted to stay aggressive all day long and thought I needed to shoot 67 today to win the tournament. As it turned out, that was exactly the score I needed, but I came up one short and had to go to the playoff.”
Padgett (66-68-66-68-268) and Sohn (67-68-67-66-268) finished regulation play deadlocked at 12-under-par 268 after participating in a three-way duel for most of the day with Jordan Hahn (66-67-67-70-270) of Spring Grove, Ill., who started the day as the co-leader with Padgett at 10 under par 200. Padgett, Sohn and Hahn staged an epic battle over the first 14 holes with the lead exchanging hands several times. Hahn – who birdied the first hole and then rolled off 13 consecutive pars – fell out of contention when he attempted to reach the 548-yard, par 5 15th hole in two. “I had 235 yards to the pin, and hit a five iron just a little skinny,” Hahn said. “It was right on line, but in the end that probably ended my chances, as Jino and Wells were playing awfully well.”
Sean Carlon (70-67-69-65-271) of Albuquerque, N.M. finished fourth, three shots behind the leaders.
The field of 88 players played under cloudy skies all day with a persistent drizzle most of the morning and several showers. The second hole of the playoff was played in a heavy downpour.
With the win, Padgett joins some illustrious past Southwestern Amateur champions, including Mark O’Meara (1980), Corey Pavin (1981), Tom Pernice, Jr. (1982), and current PGA Tour stars Ryan Palmer (1999), Nick Watney (2002), Kevin Dougherty (2012) and J.T. Poston (2013).
The Southwestern Golf Association, partnering with the Junior Golf Association of Arizona and the Boot Campaign, a charity supporting our Armed Forces, announces that the 103rd Southwestern Amateur will be held on the Cochise course at the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, June 13-16, 2018.
Since its founding in 1915, the Southwestern Amateur has developed a stellar reputation as a high-quality competition for the nation’s top players. Past winners of the Southwestern Amateur include past and present PGA Tour stars Craig Stadler (1975), Jay Haas (1976), Mark O’Meara (1980), Corey Pavin (1981), Tom Pernice, Jr. (1982), Jim Carter (1983, 1984), Ted Purdy (1993), Ryan Palmer (1999) and Nick Watney (2002). New comers on the PGA Tour include Bryson DeChambeau, Kevin Dougherty (2012), JT Poston (2013) and Aaron Wise.
Beginning in 2013, The Southwestern Golf Association (SWGA) and Desert Mountain announced an agreement calling for the tournament to be contested on one of Desert Mountain’s six golf courses on a rotating basis for the near future. Desert Mountain is one of the world’s premier, private golf meccas offering six award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, more than any other private community in the world. Its Cochise Course, where last year's Champions Tour Schwab Cup was played, will play host to next year's tournament with the Geronimo Course also used for the first two rounds.
Desert Mountain also features six clubhouses, a fitness center with world-class tennis complex and hiking trails as well as home to the $1.6 million Jim Flick Golf Performance Center equipped with the most advanced technology in the industry today. Among the center's capabilities are 3-D motion capture, Doppler radar and four-camera vidio motion analysis.
For more information on Desert Mountain, visit www.desertmountain.com. More information on the tournament and the Geronimo and Cochise Courses can be found on this website.
The Southwestern Amateur is the longest running regional amateur men's golf championship in the western United States. With origins dating back as early as 1908, the tournament was formally organized into a regional competition in 1915. Since then the championship has grown to many more players and a stepping stone for many great future PGA Tour stars. Read More
Jino Sohn is back to defend his 2017 championship!
Its a family affair! This year's participant Cameron Meeks indicated on his entry that his father Eric Meeks, and his uncle Aaron Meeks, both played in the Southwestern Amateur in 1986. His father finished 5th and his uncle finished 2nd.
Eric was the 1988 US AM champion, 1989 Walker Cup team member and is a member of the University of Arizona Hall of Fame.
Congratulations to Rice University senior, Mario Carmona, from Mexico, who tied for 6th place at the Conference USA Championship this weekend. This was his 18th round of par or better this year and the 47th of his career. Mario tied for 18th at the 102nd Southwestern Amateur last year, and is entered in the 103rd this June on the Cochise course at Desert Mountain
The Sizzler Amateur will be held the week following the Southwestern Amateur this year, again at Troon North, just a few miles from Desert Mountain. If interested, contact the Sizzler website.
SWGA Executive Director John Ranslem presents a check to the BOOT CAMPAIGN co-founder Leigh Ann Ranslem. The BOOT CAMPAIGN, a SWGA partner, assists returning veteransw who have special needs.
At the 2017 Shell Houston Open, Southwestern Golf Association President, John Ranslem, met with former Southwestern Amateur champion JT Poston (2013).
JT earned his PGTour card by ending up in the top 25 on the Web.com Tour in 2016. He has made the cut in most of the 2017 PGA events he has entered.
At the Genesis Open he was paired in the first two rounds with Kevin Dougherty, our 2012 champion and first runner up to JT in 2013. Read more....
Enjoy Desert Mountain for the week!
For players who miss the 36 hole cut, Desert Mountain has agreed to provide playing access to two of its other Jack Nicklaus Signature Courses on Friday and Saturday of tournament week. So plan to stay the week!
The longest running amateur golf tournament in the southwestern United States returns for a third year at Scottsdale's premier private golf and recreational community.