The 2012 Golfweek Amateur Tour got its season started this past weekend at the annual Westin Ice Breaker Open in Hilton Head, South Carolina. A total of 96 players representing 15 different tours took part in this two day tournament at the Palmetto Hall Plantation courses. A special mention goes out to the Upstate tour for bringing 24 members and the Hilton Head-Savannah Tour for having 19 members playing this weekend.
Though there was no ice/frost this year, the temperature was still chilly; especially on Saturday at the very difficult Arthur Hills course. With upgrades made to the course earlier in the week, new sand in the greenside bunkers, and the cold/windy conditions that Mother Nature tossed at the golfers, scores were elevated. Only one player was able to score in the 70’s on Saturday, Mark Ducker from the Charleston Tour fired the low round of the day with a 79 in the A flight.
Sunday was no cake walk. Though the temperature was a little warmer and the wind was not as strong, the golfers were still playing on the Robert Cupp course. The Cupp course is one of the hardest courses on Hilton Head Island and from the tips it is in the top three in the state of South Carolina. Jody Clary from the Upstate Tour and Mike Peters from the Hilton Head-Savannah Tour were the low rounds of the day on Sunday with 78’s on the card.
When it was all said and done, the 2012 Westin Ice Breaker Open was not without drama. In the Championship Flight a critical ruling was the deciding factor between Jody Clary and Mark Macejko. It all came down to a "drop" that was made in the round. On one ball Mark makes birdie, on the other he makes bogey. When the players came in from 18, they asked for a ruling from the local pro at the course. After about a 30 minute debate, it was decided that the drop was a one stroke drop and in turn giving Jody Clary the first place win.
Mark Ducker from the Charleston Tour was able to follow up his impressive 79 on Saturday with an equally impressive 81 on Sunday to take the top spot in the A flight. Mark edged out Art Arns of the Hilton Head-Savannah Tour by 3 strokes and Danny Garrison of the Upstate Tour by 5 strokes to secure his victory. Mark has been a very solid player on the Charleston for a few years now. He is always in contention at every tournament and is usually the one to beat on the Charleston Tour. Congratulations Mark on an impressive weekend.
The B flight was the only flight that needed a playoff to decide the winner. And what a playoff it was. It took 3 holes before David Aussicker of the Charlotte tour was able to edge out Rich Daniel of the Charlotte tour. The two players went back and forth for two days and for 3 extra, making for some very exciting golf. Denny Miller of the Charleston tour rounded out the top three by finishing one stroke out of the playoff.
The C flight had its own share of drama and tense moments. A very impressive 85 by Lee Sanders of the Charleston Tour had secured him a 6 stroke lead going into Sunday. Lee as the only player to score in the 80’s on Saturday. For the rest of the C flight, it was time to buckle down and make a run if they wanted to finish in the top spot. Michael Hawkins of the Triad Tour made the best run of the day with an 84 to pull out the 1 stroke win over Steve Daniels of the Charlotte Tour. Michael battled all round long and kept his cool long enough to pull out the impressive comeback after being 12 strokes back after Saturday’s round.
The D flight saw Brad Morris of the Charleston Tour pull off a 6 stroke win over the weekend. Brad was able to hold off hard charging and fellow Charleston Tour member Cowboy. Cowboy improved his Saturday round by 16 strokes to secure second place over the weekend. An very impressive feat in any flight over a two day tournament.
We would like to thank all the players who participated in the 2012 Westin Ice Breaker Open. We wish everyone a great 2012 season on your respective tours. We also look forward to seeing everyone at the 2012 National Championship in October.