Bryce Lewis holds on to win Sunnehanna Amateur
By WPGA • June 18, 2022
At the end of the third round of The Sunnehanna Amateur on Friday, the cut was set at 6-over par, leaving a field of 69 players to compete in Saturday’s final round.
The fourth and final day of the began with chilly temperatures in the mid-50’s and gusts of wind were few and far between.
In the previous rounds, the players were undoubtedly challenged by the weather, as temperatures soared to the mid-90’s. While this may seem like ideal summer conditions to some, the first few days of competition were no day at the beach. Along with the heat, the wind stayed brutally consistent, blowing around 20 mph throughout the day with some gusts approaching 40 mph.
Only 18 of the 69 players who made the cut would ride the momentum of a below-par third round into the final day of competition. Mark Goetz and Palmer Jackson were the only two players hailing from western Pennsylvania to obtain that luxury before teeing off on Saturday.
Goetz took advantage of his long drives and the firm ground to put together an impressive final round, finishing at 1-under par on the day. He was one of 14 players who finished under-par in the final round, helping him accumulate a score of 3-under par and tie for fourth place.
After making eagle on Friday, Jackson adamantly birdied #11 on Saturday to begin the second half of his final round 1-under par. He remained in the top-10 amongst his competitors until a double on hole 15 plagued an under-par back nine. He finished 3-over par on the day and 1-over par for the tournament, tying for 13th place.
Bryce Lewis began his Saturday with a three-stroke lead at 10-under par. Although his lead was pretty firm, not far behind him were Jiri Zuska (-7), Maxwell Ford (-6), Julian Perico (-6), and Kelly Chinn (-5).
The course proved to be punishing on some contentious players in the field; Perico struggled on the back-nine of the final day and fell to 1-over par on the tournament while Zuska dropped four strokes and finished at 3-under par after his final round.
The final day was particularly challenging for Lewis, who walked up the 18th fairway at 5-over par on the day, leaving him with a score of 5-under through 71 holes.
In the group ahead of him, Chinn and Ford also had scores of 5-under par as they approached the 18th green. As many before them did, both would roll in their tap-in bogey putts. They sat at 4-under par after finishing their round and were anticipating a playoff should Lewis bogey his final hole.
At this point, Lewis was in control of his own destiny as he lined up his approach.
Lewis’ second shot on 18 landed just on the green, leaving him with a birdie putt from about 40 feet away from the hole. A two-putt would lead him to victory.
His birdie putt was tracking toward the hole the entire way but missed the target by an inch. He was left with a one-footer for par.
With the majority of the spectators gathered around the 18th green, Lewis confidently tapped in his putt for par, leaving him with a score of 5-under on the tournament and earning him the victory at Sunnehanna.
With this win, Lewis stands alongside players such as Colin Morikawa, Nathan Smith, Rickie Fowler, Webb SImpson, Lucas Glover, and Ben Crenshaw as Sunnehanna Amateur Champion.
About the WPGA
Founded in 1899, the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is the steward of amateur golf in the region. Started by five Member Clubs, the association now has nearly 200 Member Clubs and 33,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund.