Lynch captures Kivett crown
Joe Lynch felt good about where he was coming into the final round.
Trailing the overnight leader by three shots, Lynch fired a 4-under-par 68 – tying for the lowest round of the day – on Sunday at Oak Hollow Golf Course for a 138 two-day total to win the Bud Kivett Memorial Championship by three shots.
“I knew that if I posted a good round, then they’d have to chase me,” he said afterward, trophy in hand. “I felt good about the 68 when I came in. I knew that if I could shoot 68, 69, then I’d be in good shape.”
Lynch, who was in the penultimate group, strung together birdies on Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 to make a big move into the lead. It was his recovery shot on No. 3, a par 4 that curls downhill to a tricky green, that spurred the run.
“I was in the trees 128 yards out,” he said. “I hit a pitching wedge through the trees, on the green and made birdie. I think that shot kept me in it. It made me feel like I was going to make something happen. After that shot, I felt good. I felt like I was in control of my game.”
After finishing the front side with pars and making the turn at 4-under, he made pars through 16 before birdieing 17 and bogeying 18. He waited until the final group of Josh Nichols, Joseph Cansler and Harrison Frye finished, having never made a big enough move to catch Lynch.
Frye, a standout at High Point Central and a Guilford College commit, shot 69-72—141 while Nichols, the overnight leader by one who played at Salem Baptist and Appalachian State, shot 67-74—141. Frye took second on a scorecard playoff for the second straight year.
“I knew the leaders were all good players. I’d played with all of them before,” Lynch said. “It just depended on how they got around the golf course. The pins were in tough spots, and I got lucky and made a couple good up-and-downs. If I could just hold on, it’d be tough for them to stay on top.”
Nichols made all pars until carding back-to-back bogeys on 6 and 7 and a birdie on 8 to make the turn at 1 over. Bogeys on 10, 11 and 14 dropped him back before he birdied 16 and 17 to get within reach of Frye, who birdied 2 and 5 before bogeying 7 and 18.
Joseph Cansler finished fourth with a 68-74—142.