Golf

Virginia resident with local instructor wins Barefoot AJGA golf event

Connor Burgess holds the championship trophy for the AJGA Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy Junior Championship.
Connor Burgess holds the championship trophy for the AJGA Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy Junior Championship.

Connor Burgess is two for two in Grand Strand junior golf tournaments, and the third time was the charm in each.

The Lynchburg, Va., resident and winner of the George Holliday Memorial Junior at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club in November captured his second title in the area on Thursday.

Burgess defeated William Wann of Birmingham, Ala., on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the American Junior Golf Association’s 54-hole Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy Junior Championship on Barefoot Resort’s Norman Course.

Burgess birdied the par-5 18th hole in regulation to get into the playoff then birdied the 18th on the first playoff hole to win.

He was playing in the Barefoot AJGA event for the third time, and also won the Holliday in his third attempt. They are the only two Strand tournaments he has participated in.

Burgess and Wann tied through 54 holes at 5-under 211, with Burgess closing with a 1-under 71 and Wann shooting a 67 Thursday.

Burgess, the 2016 Virginia State Golf Association Junior Boys Golfer of the Year, turned 18 in early July and will be joining the Virginia Tech men’s golf team in a couple weeks.

“I’ve worked pretty hard my whole junior career and one of my goals was to win an AJGA event before I went to college,” Burgess said. “That happened today so I’m pretty excited about it.”

I’ve worked pretty hard my whole junior career and one of my goals was to win an AJGA event before I went to college. That happened today so I’m pretty excited about it.

Connor Burgess

Burgess has been working with instructor Brad Redding of the International Club of Myrtle Beach for about the past four years. “We’ve worked on some major things in my swing over the last couple years and it has helped me a lot,” Burgess said.

Both Burgess and Wann were tied at 5 under when weather halted play. Burgess was on the 17th green at the time and Wann was on the 18th hole.

Following the delay, Burgess three-putted from 30 feet for a bogey that dropped him out of the lead. “That was pretty tough,” Burgess said.

On the 18th, he watched Wann miss about a 10-foot birdie putt. Burgess laid up on his second shot to about 95 yards and hit his wedge to 3 feet to make birdie and get into the playoff.

On the playoff hole, he laid up to about 85 yards and hit a wedge to 2 feet for the win.

“My wedges were pretty good this week,” Burgess said. “I made a lot of birdies with wedge shots this week. I was getting good looks at birdie and I made a lot of them.”

Burgess’s final junior tournament will be this weekend’s Virginia-Carolinas Junior Team Matches on his home course, Boonsboro Country Club in Lynchburg.

The girls portion of the tournament was won by Christine Wang of Houston, who carded an even-par 216 and closed with a 75 to finish three strokes ahead of runner-up Erika Smith of Orlando.

Alan Blondin: 843-626-0284, @alanblondin

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