In final-round comeback, Davis Bryant repeats at 108th Southwestern Amateur

Chris Brauner

On the final day of the 108th Southwestern Amateur, Davis Bryant (Aurora, Colo. / Colorado State University) shot a 6-under 66 to come from five shots back and successfully defend his title at the Desert Mountain Club’s Cochise Course in Scottsdale, Ariz..

For three rounds and 13 holes on Saturday, the field looked up at Louisiana State University’s Luke Haskew (Baton Rouge, La.).

Haskew came into the final round with a seemingly comfortable five-stroke lead on Bryant. Having to make up that many strokes with just 18 holes remaining, Bryant knew as well as anyone that he would have to play well and catch some breaks to repeat as champion.

Bryant did play well enough to remain in the hunt, carding the second-low round of the day; he caught his break as Haskew shot a rollercoaster round and finished even par. With the men’s division starting on hole 10, Bryant’s birdie on hole five (their 14th hole of the day) tied things.

Still tied with two holes remaining, Bryant caught another break when he and Haskew fired tee shots into the desert on hole eight; Bryant punched it out and eventually saved par, while Haskew settled for a bogey that proved to be the coup de grâce to his championship hopes.

“Starting five back, it’s an uphill battle. But I started off really strong, I stuck to my game plan, I didn’t do anything differently today than I did (in previous days),” Bryant said. “I knew I could make seven or eight birdies out here and the bogey on 17 was my only hiccup. I just stayed with what I was doing the first three days and the golf gods helped me out. My putter was really hot, too, so that was a plus.”

It was the second-straight comeback win for Bryant at the Southwestern Amateur. Last year, he started the final round two shots back and closed with a 68 on the Geronimo Course for a two-shot victory.

He becomes the first player to repeat as Southwestern Amateur Champion since Scott Frisch, who ground out a three-peat between 1987-89.

Bryant finished at 22-under 266, one shot ahead of Haskew, who had not made a 6 all tournament until bogeying both par 5’s on the final nine. Brandon Shong (Australia / University of New Mexico) and Dylan Oyama (Carlsbad, Calif. / San Diego State) tied for third at 16 under, five shots behind Haskew. Jimmy Dales (Northville, Mich. / University of Wyoming) was fifth at 13 under par.

Costas Panay (Redmond, Wash. / Cal-Berkeley) shot the round of the day, an 8-under 64, to finish sixth at 12 under.