Wednesday June 18, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta native Chase Parker carded a final-round 70 to overtake first-round leader Lee Knox, also of Augusta, and run away with the title at the 43rd annual Georgia Junior Championship, which took place at the Augusta Country Club, June 16-18. Knox, who held a two-shot advantage over Parker to start the day, fell behind after a bogey on the 11th hole and could not land a birdie putt during his inward nine to catch the eventual winner.
“This course was as tough over the past three days as I have ever seen it,” Parker said of Augusta Country Club’s 6,892-yard layout. “I knew that par would be a good score so I just tried to position myself to make pars and then maybe I would be able to get a birdie putt to fall.”
Parker, a graduate of Westside High School in Augusta, began the final day of play trailing by two strokes. Matching Knox, Parker opened with four consecutive pars and a birdie at five. However, Parker then connected on birdie putts at the par-three sixth and the 599-yard eighth (the longest hole of the course). Those two birdies at 6 and 8, where Knox made par, locked the duo at eight-under for the championship.
Each opened the back nine with pars but Knox pushed his drive on eleven to the right and into the woods. Punching out, he would have to settle for bogey (his first on a par-five during the event). Parker’s par at the eleventh gave him the outright lead. Knox, who will join the University of Alabama’s golf squad this coming fall, again found trouble at 13 and failed to get up and down for par, falling two shots off the pace of Parker. The duo exchanged pars on each of the next four holes and Parker took to 18 with a two-shot advantage.
“I was still a little nervous walking up to 18 tee,” Parker explained. “I guess I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t. I just knew that with Lee [Knox] being the type of player that he is, anything could still happen out there.”
Parker pushed his drive on 18 far to the right and the ball came to rest on the fairway of the first hole. His approach landed short of the green. Knox, who hit the fairway with his tee shot, landed his approach on the left side of the green giving him a lengthy look at birdie. Neither could make their attempts at par and each would settle for bogey. Despite his bogey at 18, his only one of the round, Parker fired a two-under 70 in the final round and won by two shots.