Myrtle Beach High rising junior Keegan Vaugh won the South Carolina Junior Match Play Championship at Rock Hill Country Club on Friday.
He won two matches Friday to claim the Carolinas Golf Association title, defeating Drayton Stewart of Charleston 1 up in the morning semifinals and Ian Faulconer of Simpsonville 4 and 3 in the afternoon championship match.
Vaugh was somewhat of a surprise winner considering he tied for 37th in Tuesday’s 18-hole qualifying round to determine the 64 seeds in match play with a 7-over 79. Nicholas Mayfield of Rock Hill was the top seed after shooting a 69.
Vaugh had to win six matches on the par-72 Rock Hill course, which was set up to 6,589 yards, to claim the title.
He opened match play with a dominant 7 and 6 win and won his next three matches Wednesday and Thursday by the scores of 1 up, 3 and 2, and 1 up.
Vaugh jumped out to a 3 up lead after four holes in the championship match and never relinquished the lead, losing only two holes in the match.
“I knew it was going to be tough these last two matches,” Vaugh told a CGA official. “I’m just happy to grind it out and be able to hit fairways and greens.”
Vaugh’s ball striking was strong all week and his putting Friday was exceptional.
“I was just picking good lines with my caddie and they were rolling in,” he said.
It’s Vaugh’s first CGA title, as it is for girls winner Emily Dunlap of Greenville, who defeated Anna Grace Brock of Greenwood 3 and 1 in the championship match.