CAMERON CHAMP FROM TEXAS A&M WINS 2016 Patriot All-America Invitational ON SECOND PLAYOFF HOLE OVER ZACHARY OLSEN of OKLAHOMA STATE
LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. (December 31, 2016) – Cameron Champ from Texas A&M knocked in a one-foot putt for par on the second playoff hole to win the 2016 Patriot All-America Invitational over Zachary Olsen of Oklahoma State. Champ entered the final round tied for sixth, three-shots back of second round leader Sahith Theegala. During his final round, Champ shot a 4-under par 66 (203) that included six birdies and two bogeys to get into the playoff. Meanwhile, Olsen entered the final round tied for eighth, four-shots back. Olsen shot a 5-under par 65 (the best round of the day) to qualify for the playoff.
During the playoff, both Champ and Olsen made par on the 488-yard, par-4 first hole. On the second playoff hole, a 391-yard par 4, Champ put his second shot to within 15-feet, while Olsen had a 20-foot putt for birdie. Both golfers missed their birdie putts. Olsen lipped-out a three-foot comeback putt for par, while Champ knocked-in his one-footer for the win.
Champ, ranked 96th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, is a junior at Texas A&M and is from Sacramento, Calif.
“When I marked my ball, I didn’t think he was going to miss his putt,” said Champ. “He ended up missing and I just tapped-in and that was it. It means a lot to me to win this event. We were able to get ahold of the family that I played for (Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell), which was nice.”
Second round leader Sahith Theegala (-6, 204) of Pepperdine, missed a par-putt on the 18th hole to get into the playoff, and shot even-par for the day. Illinois junior Nick Hardy shot a final round 4-under par 66 (204) to finished tied for third with Theegala.
Two players recorded aces on the 130-yard, par-3 16th hole during the tournament’s final round – William Rainey of the College of Charleston and Braden Bailey of Baylor.
A field of 84 elite golfers competed in the 54-hole, stroke-play competition on The Wigwam’s famed Gold Course. In cooperation with the Folds of Honor Foundation, each golfer playing in the Patriot All-America represented a fallen soldier by carrying a golf bag with the name and branch of service of a fallen or injured military member. The golf bags will now be shipped to players’ schools and auctioned with all proceeds benefitting the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while in active service.
The Arizona Golf Association (AGA), JDM Partners and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) partner with the Folds of Honor Foundation to host the 6th annual tournament. The tournament receives tremendous community support by a variety of local businesses and organizations including The Thunderbirds, host organization of the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the West Valley Mavericks civic group. For more information, visit www.patriotallamerica.com.
Top 10 Final Results:
Pos. Name School Total
1 Cameron Champ Texas A&M -7 (203)*
2 Zachary Olsen Oklahoma State -7 (203)
T3 Nick Hardy Illinois -6 (204)
T3 Sahith Theegala Pepperdine -6 (204)
T5 Sean Crocker Southern California -5 (205)
T5 Cooper Dossey Baylor -5 (205)
T7 Nahum Mendoza III San Diego State -4 (206)
T7 Andrew Whalen Northwestern -4 (206)
9 Shintaro Ban UNLV -3 (207)
10 Jordan Gumberg University of Arizona -2 (208)
*won on second playoff hole
Patriot All-America Invitational
Final Round Quotes
2016 Patriot All-America Winner Cameron Champ:
On his final round:
I just wanted to get off to a good start. I knew I was a few behind, but I knew the conditions (wet) could cause the leaders to fall back. I got off to a good start, like I said. I was 1-under through six holes. I made a bogey on seven, but then came right back with birdie, birdie. I knew I was still a few behind so I just kept pushing on. I wasn’t trying to force anything. I got to 16 and I knew that was where some opportunities were and I was able to stick one in there close and make that putt. And then on 17, I just really attacked. I knew I had to make birdie. I did the same thing, I hit it within 10 feet of the hole and was able convert. Coming down 18, I blocked my drive a little right and had a little tough approach shot, but I hit it short of the green and was able to get up and down for par then obviously heading to the playoff.
On the playoff, specifically the second playoff hole:
We both hit great drives. He kinda pulled hit his (second shot) a little bit, or just a little left of the pin. I hit mine to about 15-feet. I saw that he rolled his (putt) by about three or four feet. I knew my putt was a downhill slider. I didn’t want to get too greedy with it and do the same thing he did. So, I just kinda cozied it up there, if it went in, it went in. When I marked my ball, I didn’t think he was going to miss his putt. He ended up missing and I just tapped in and that was it.
On the softer conditions due to the overnight rain:
Yes, especially with the pins today. In certain spots, they would zip hard if you had any spin on them. Especially on 16, I landed on the slope and it still stayed on the green. So I definitely think it was an advantage. You saw Zack played really well and some of the other guys played really well. I think it gave us a little more of an advantage to attack pins today and go lower.
On playing in this event before, and if it gave him any kind of an advantage:
It did. I played it my freshman year and just to see the difference in my maturity between then and now, I think helped me a lot. I knew the course. I knew it would set up well for me. I just had to execute the shots. So, yes it definitely helped me.
On his grandfather being a veteran and the tie to this event:
My dad grew up on a base, so it was a big military family. He (grandfather) retired after I was born. For me it was big because I knew it meant a lot to him to serve his country. It means a lot to me. We were able to get ahold of the family that I played for (Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell) which was nice. Just to learn their story.
On the exemption into the Air Capital Classic:
That’s big, it’s really exciting. I’ve never played in the Web.com. I’ve tried to qualify a few times, but was never able to make it so this is really exciting to be able to play in my first one. And, also my gramps who’s going to be able to caddie for me. He’s getting up there in age, I’m going to let him caddie for me. You never know when his time is up, so you know, I just wanted to give him a chance to caddie for me and have a good week.