Jeff Coburn wins second straight SCGA Public Links Championship
The change of scenery didn't stop Jeff Coburn, who successfully defended his title Sunday at the 2014 SCGA Public Links Championships. Moving away from Brookside GC for the first time in four years, the Championship saw its first back-to-back winner since it was taken over by the SCGA in 2011. Coburn shot rounds of 69, 64 and 71 at River Ridge GC to run away with a 7-shot victory.
"Yesterday it was definitely attack mode," said Coburn, who in Round 2 fired seven birdies, one eagle and had just one bogey. "But entering the final round of play with such a big lead, I figured pars would do it so I definitely played more tentatively."
Coburn entered Sunday with a hefty 9-stroke lead, using Saturday's 8-under-par round to all but secure his title. He credits his putter for helping him secure the low-round of the tournament.
"I was basically making every putt yesterday," Coburn said after his win.
The run-away victory was a stark difference from last year's nail-bitter, in which Coburn was forced to make a tough, downhill 12-foot par putt on the 18th hole of the final round to secure his win by one stroke over 2012 Champion Dan Sullivan. Sullivan once again saw his creep up the leaderboard, using a final round score of 2-under-par 70 to finish in a tie for third. Also finishing in third place was 2011 Champion Tim Hogarth, who 73, 69 and 71 to finish in the Top 5 and take over first place in the race for SCGA Player of the Year.
But a new face also slipped into the Top 5 of an event that has seen Coburn, Hogarth and Sullivan dominate in recent years, as 16-year-old Mason Glinski shot a Round 3 score of 6-under-par 66 on his home course to snatch second place away from the decorated veterans. Glinski, who lives on the course, recorded seven birdies in somewhat windy conditions Sunday, recording the lowest round of the day by four strokes.
The gross portion of the SCGA Public Links Championship spanned three days, with competitors playing the Lakes Course at River Ridge twice, and the Vineyard Course once. The competition began with 75 competitors, with only the top 22 moving on to Sunday's final round.
The Championship also contains a net division, in which competitors are broken up into two flights based on their Handicap Index. The 36-hole event took place Saturday and Sunday on both the Lakes and Vineyard Courses, with Wayne Spencer of Moreno Valley Ranch GC winning the Bobby Jones flight and Nitin Mehta of River Ridge Men's GC besting the field in the Jack Nicklaus flight.
Sunday's net action was highlighted by an albatross off the clubs of 20-year-old Vanesa Villa, who recorded the double eagle on her first hole of the day, draining her 200-yard approach shot.