MURRELLS INLET — Roger Clemens made a run Friday but came up short in the championship round of the 29th annual Golf.com World Amateur Handicap Championship at the TPC of Myrtle Beach.
Clemens, playing with a 6.9 handicap, teed off on the 10th hole and was within a stroke of the lead at net 5-under par through 14 holes.
But on his 15th hole – the par-5 sixth – he hit his tee shot out of bounds and took a double bogey, then made net bogeys on the seventh and ninth holes. Clemens was tied for ninth with a 79 for a net 1-under 71.
Robert Mieczkowski of New Jersey shot a 76 for a 6-under-par 65 to win the championship by a stroke over Frank Payne of Aynor, who shot a 78 for a net 66.
“I was just playing and playing hard,” said Clemens, who said he was never aware of his standing on the leaderboard. “It was just a great deal of fun. I think we all just ran out of gas, we were getting after it pretty good. I thought I was shooting a pretty good number.”
Clemens made four consecutive net birdies on holes 15-18 and made a birdie for a net eagle on the par-5 second hole to reach 5 under.
“Golf is just fun,” Clemens said. “I don’t practice enough at golf so it’s always challenging for me.”
Clemens, playing in his second World Am, qualified for the championship round by tying for first in his 42-player flight with rounds of 84 at Diamond Back Golf Club at Woodland Valley, 77 at the TPC of Myrtle Beach and 73 at the Hackler Course at Coastal Carolina for a 234 aggregate total and 210 net.
“With the weather being as it was, with a lot of rain, I thought all the courses that allowed us to get out there and play and play lift, clean and place did a great job,” Clemens said. “To get back out here and get another round at the TPC was fantastic. The course was in great shape again for all the weather and rain that we had.”
Come back to www.myrtlebeachonline.com later and read Saturday’s edition of The Sun News for updated information.
Contact ALAN BLONDIN at 626-0284.