|.Carolina Golf News Line|
eGolf Tour: Forest Oaks Classic - Final Results 2014
Fields Atones For 2013 Finish With Dominant Performance at eGolf Tour’s Forest Oaks Classic
Greensboro, NC – At the 2013 Forest Oaks Classic, Jack Fields of Southern Pines, NC held a one-shot lead with nine holes to play before closing in 3-over 39 to fall two shots shy of winner T.J. Howe. On Saturday afternoon at host Forest Oaks Country Club, Fields got his revenge on the longtime PGA TOUR venue, riding a dramatic hole-out eagle on the par-4 15th to a final-round 64, good for a stunning 23-under 265 total and his second career eGolf Tour title.
Fields’ week at the 30-year Wyndham Championship host began in solid fashion, with opening rounds of 67-67-67—201 placing him at 15-under par through 54 holes – one shot back of overnight leader David Watkins of Greenville, NC.
Playing in the day’s final threesome alongside Watkins and Jesse Hutchins of Kirkersville, OH, Fields came out of the gate on a tear, birdieing Nos. 2, 4, 6 and 8 to turn at 4-under 32 and 19-under par for the tournament.
“I got off to a good start on the first hole, hitting it close but missing the putt. On No. 2, I hit my second shot in there to about 6 feet and made it. It was good to see one go in the hole early,” said Fields, whose two birdies in his first four holes set the tone. “Making birdie on No. 8 was big for me, as I’ve had some issues there over the years. I hit a great 5-iron to 12 feet, and that’s when I knew my game was in control.”
Fields entered the final nine holes one shot clear of 2014 tour winner J.T. Griffin of Wilson, NC, who also turned in 32 to reach 18-under par.
At that point, it was a pure case of déjà vu for the 24-year-old, who couldn’t help but flashback to the event’s 2013 edition, where it all came unraveled on the closing nine.
In April of 2013, Fields opened the Forest Oaks Classic with a 9-under 63, matching a similar effort posted at the 2009 Bridgestone Intercollegiate. Looking to finish off a hot start to his year, Fields paced the field by one shot with nine holes to play, but missed a short par putt on the 11th and eventually double-bogeyed the par-4 16th to finish tied for third.
The similarities between the two scenarios did not fall on deaf ears or blind eyes – especially after a pulled tee shot on the par-4 10th gave way to his first bogey of the round. This time, however, Fields bounced back on the very next hole, two-putting the par-5 11th to recover the lost shot and return to 19-under par.
“I don’t really remember what happened last year, but it crossed my mind briefly on the turn,” he said. “After the bogey on 10, I knew I was hitting it well enough to give myself opportunities, so I stayed patient.”
Fields’ birdie on 11 coincided with back-to-back bogeys by Griffin on 11 and 12, and suddenly he was two shots clear of Hutchins and Watkins with seven holes to play.
The long-hitting Fields pared Nos. 12 through 14 to remain at 19-under par, then went into blackout mode on the difficult par-4 15th.
After hitting his tee shot through the fairway on the dogleg-left hole, Fields eyed his second shot from 187 yards with the ball below his feet, playing uphill to a perched green.
The rest was pure history.
“That was a little unexpected. The pin was front left just over the ridge and I flushed a 6-iron. I was yelling for it to be right, and I guess it was because it landed about 4 feet from the hole and trickled in,” said Fields, who immediately began celebrating with caddie Amory Davis. “We saw it disappear and heard the crowd by the green react, so my caddie and I got pretty excited as well.”
The unlikely deuce vaulted the tournament leader from 19-under to 21-under, and put him on the tee of the drive-able par-4 16th, where a double-bogey kept him out of the 2013 winner’s circle.
“With three straightforward holes left, I knew I could kind of get it to the house from there,” said Fields, who teed off on the 287-yard hole with a 6-iron as opposed to last year’s driver, which wound up out-of-bounds. “That’s a much easier tee shot when you have a three-shot lead.”
Fields hit a gap wedge on 16 to 6 feet, converting the birdie try to ascend to an unreachable 22-under par for the week.
After getting up and down for par on the par-3 17th, Fields piped his tee shot on the par-5 18th over a corner bunker, eventually pitching his third to 6 feet from the hole. With one final putt, 421 days after losing what looked to be a sure win at Forest Oaks, the affable Fields rebounded with a 72nd-hole birdie and an 8-under 64. His 23-under-par total delivered a four-shot win, and more importantly, a reminder as to just how dominant he can be when on.
“Coming into today it was anyone’s tournament to win. I had played solid golf coming in, but not great golf, so I knew there was a little extra in the tank,” said Fields, who sheepishly admitted to having a mediocre putter on his way to 23-under par. “This is huge. It’s been a very up-and-down couple of years, but I’ve tried to stay positive.”
Fields burst onto the eGolf Tour scene in 2012, winning the Columbia Open that May and adding a T2 at the Cabarrus Classic in the fall to help cement a solid rookie campaign.
In 2013, he developed a level of consistency not seen the year prior, posting runner-ups in two of his first three starts on his way to six total top-10s for the year – including the T3 at Forest Oaks.
This year, however, Fields played the role of injured golfer during the first month of the season, withdrawing from the season-opening Palmetto Hall Championship with a back injury and skipping the following week’s event at Callawassie Island in an attempt to rest up.
That time off, however, put him back on track, as evidenced by his three straight top-15 finishes in his next three starts – including a T4 at the Championship at St. James Plantation in April.
“Hurting my back at the beginning of the year was frustrating, but the time off gave me more time to prepare mentally for the rest of the year,” said Fields, who moved to No. 3 on the tour’s money list with his $14,000 payday. “I’ve been hitting the ball well all year, so if I can clean it up with the putting, I feel like I’ve got some good things ahead of me.”
Hutchins, a winner at last year’s HGM Hotels Classic at Rock Barn, birdied 16 and 18 to close with a 4-under 68 and a 19-under-par tally for the week – good for runner-up honors. The 31-year-old earned $8,500 for the tournament.
The runner-up marked Hutchins’ third top-10 since his breakthrough win at Rock Barn last July, but just his first of the 2014 season. After missing the cut at Palmetto Hall to open his year, the former Wright State golfer posted top-20s in three of his next four starts.
James White of Acworth, GA finished alone in third place at 17-under 267, earning $6,025 for his finish.
White, making his first eGolf Tour start of the year, turned in a distant 12-under par before birdieing Nos. 10, 11, 15, 16 and 18 to round out a 31 on the back nine and a final-round 66. The third-place finish marked his career-best on the eGolf Tour, and was his third career top-10 dating back to the 2013 season.
As a member of the Georgia Tech golf team from 2008 through 2012, White was one of the country’s top players, earning All-America honors twice and being awarded with the 2012 Byron Nelson Award.
eGolf Tour leading money winner Seamus Power of Waterford, Ireland, Drew Perry of Weddington, NC and Daniel Claytor of Hartsville, SC finished in a five-way tie for fourth alongside Griffin and Watkins at 16-under 272. Each player earned $4,000 for the tournament.
For Power, who earned career win No. 3 at the Cowans Ford Open in March, the T4 was simply more of the same during a truly special 2014 campaign on tour. The 27-year-old has amassed $42,298 in earnings, thanks to top-6 finishes in each of his seven starts, including a staggering six top-4s.
· The tour would like to thank the staff of Forest Oaks Country Club for their help in making this fifth-year event such a success. A special thanks goes to golf course superintendent Aaron Cape and his crew for their efforts in presenting a wonderful venue for the week, especially given some of the rain and violent storms that hit the greater Greensboro area this week. Thank you as well to the members of Forest Oaks for allowing the tour to use your club for the event, and for your efforts in volunteering.
· The tour remains in North Carolina next week for the second annual Mimosa Hills Open, to be contested at Mimosa Hills Country Club in Morganton, NC on June 18-21, 2014.
Forest Oaks Classic
Forest Oaks Country Club
Par 72; 7,212 yards
1. Jack Fields, Southern Pines, NC, $14,000.00, *67-67-67-64-265 -23
2. Jesse Hutchins, Kirkersville, OH, $8,500.00, *69-66-66-68-269 -19
3. James White, Acworth, GA, $6,025.00, *69-67-69-66-271 -17
4. Drew Perry, Charlotte, NC, $4,000.00, *70-65-72-65-272 -16
4. Daniel Claytor, Hartsville, SC, $4,000.00, *67-69-69-67-272 -16
4. Seamus Power, Ireland, $4,000.00, *69-68-66-69-272 -16
4. John-Tyler Griffin, Wilson, NC, $4,000.00, *69-66-67-70-272 -16
4. David Watkins, Greenville, NC, $4,000.00, *64-69-67-72-272 -16
9. Ryan Sullivan, Winston-Salem, NC, $2,830.00, *68-70-69-66-273 -15
9. Ethan Tracy, Columbus, OH, $2,830.00, *67-70-70-66-273 -15
9. Chip Lynn, Lillington, NC, $2,830.00, *67-71-70-65-273 -15
9. Ryan Nelson, Charleston, SC, $2,830.00, *65-69-71-68-273 -15
9. Tommy Gibson, Vero Beach, FL, $2,830.00, *70-69-64-70-273 -15
14. Luke Hopkins, Greenville, SC, $2,300.00, *72-66-71-65-274 -14
14. Matthew Ryan, Santa Clarita, CA, $2,300.00, *66-67-68-73-274 -14
14. Garland Green, Tazewell, VA, $2,300.00, *67-66-69-72-274 -14
17. Sean Bosdosh, Clarksburg, MD, $2,100.00, *67-69-68-71-275 -13
18. Kevin McLister, Charlotte, NC, $1,950.00, *64-70-70-72-276 -12
18. Brett Lange, Atlanta, GA, $1,950.00, *68-68-68-72-276 -12
20. Thomas Bass, Wilmington, NC, $1,716.67, *71-67-68-71-277 -11
20. Garrett Spivey, Goose Creek, SC, $1,716.67, *66-73-67-71-277 -11
20. Richard Fountain, Raleigh, NC, $1,716.67, *68-67-73-69-277 -11
23. Frank Adams III, Salisbury, NC, $1,550.00, *69-68-70-71-278 -10
23. Ryan Gildersleeve, Clearwater, FL, $1,550.00, *68-68-71-71-278 -10
23. Adam Stephenson, Greenville, NC, $1,550.00, *70-67-71-70-278 -10
26. Sam Beach, Glen Allen, VA, $1,450.00, *68-70-67-74-279 -9
27. Reed Darsie, Chapel Hill, NC, $1,325.00, *69-68-72-71-280 -8
27. Michael Davan, Hoopeston, IL, $1,325.00, *69-68-72-71-280 -8
27. Andy Bare, West End, NC, $1,325.00, *69-71-71-69-280 -8
27. Bobby MacWhinnie, Charlotte, NC, $1,325.00, *70-70-71-69-280 -8
31. Alex Redfield, Powell, OH, $1,175.00, *71-67-69-74-281 -7
31. Chris Gallagher, Charlotte, NC, $1,175.00, *72-68-68-73-281 -7
31. Josh Hart, Cordova, IL, $1,175.00, *67-73-69-72-281 -7
31. Corbin Mills, Easley, SC, $1,175.00, *68-72-74-67-281 -7
31. Mark Wright, Tabor City, NC, $1,175.00, *69-70-76-66-281 -7
36. Phillip Mollica, Greenville, SC, $1,100.00, *66-71-74-71-282 -6
37. Jurrian Van der Vaart, Netherlands, $1,085.00, *71-67-71-74-283 -5
37. Kamito Hirai, Summerville, SC, $1,085.00, *71-68-72-72-283 -5
39. Adam Webb, Ridgeway, VA, $1,070.00, *68-71-72-75-286 -2
40. Nicholas Mehigan, Charlotte, NC, $1,060.00, *70-68-76-73-287 -1
41. David Erdy, London, OH, $1,050.00, *70-68-71-80-289 +142. Anthony DeGol, Hollidaysburg, PA, $1,040.00, *69-70-75-78-292 +4