Spencer cruises at Willow Creek
Having played one of his best rounds ever on Saturday, Isaac Spencer tried to do everything the same on Sunday.
Other than making a few less birdie putts on High Point Country Club’s Willow Creek course, he did.
Spencer, a 23-year-old who plays out of Maple Crest in his hometown of Winston-Salem and is a recent graduate of Southeastern University, followed a sparkling 64 on Saturday with a solid 67 on Sunday for a sterling 36-hole total of 13-under-par 131 and a runaway 10-shot victory in the inaugural Triad Amateur.
His round included four straight birdies on holes 6-10 and another on 14.
“I just played how I did the first day,” Spencer said. “I hit the same club off every tee. Yesterday was kind of surreal putting but I still made my share (of birdies) today. That’s what I wanted to do.”
Spencer, who won twice in college, said the 131 is his lowest score over two rounds. He felt good about his game coming into the weekend.
“Of course, I did,” Spencer said. “Maybe not 13-under-par but I definitely thought I was playing well enough to shoot under par.
Chandler White of Clemmons finished second thanks to shooting a 30 on the back nine. He finished tied with Spencer for low round of the day at 67 and wound up with a 141 total.
Willow Creek regular Tanner Owen (72-70) of High Point and former Appalachian State golfer Josh Nichols (70-72) of Winston-Salem tied for third at 2-under 142.
Joshua Chandler (72-71) and Joseph Cansler (70-73) tied for fifth at 1-under 143, two shots ahead of Archdale’s Tanner Gross.
Spencer, who had two of the four rounds in the tournament under 70, hit 14 of 18 greens and nine of 14 fairways in regulation on Sunday. He needed just 28 putts.
NCHSAA 1A champ Owen, having logged many rounds at Willow Creek, was impressed with Spencer’s play.
“That’s beyond impressive,” Owen said. “It’s one thing to shoot 64 but it’s another to follow up with another solid round. It’s impressive and I think everyone in the tournament would say that. That was really solid. When you get beat by scores like that, you can’t say anything. It gives you something to strive for.”
Nichols and Cansler, who began the day in second and six shots off the lead, played with Spencer. By the time they reached the turn, Spencer was up by nine shots and Nichols and Cansler already knew the real fight was for second..
“We that knew after six or seven holes,” Nichols said. “We needed to decrease his lead early and by the time we made the turn he had increased it. But, in a way it made it more relaxing because I didn’t have to stress about playing for the lead.
“But it was fun to watch him play because he didn’t make a bogey all day.”
Nichols said the only chance he had was to put pressure on Spencer in the opening holes.
“We needed to make a couple of birdies and him make a bogey to get the lead down to 4 shots or 3 shots. But he was playing too steady and we weren’t making anything happen.”
Spencer, who played high school golf at Mount Tabor, thought a par save on No.4 was crucial.
“That was a good momentum booster,” Spencer said.
His most impressive birdie was a downhill 20-footer on No. 15 that curled into the cup.
“That was just getting it started and it fed right into the hole,” Spencer said.
White’s late charge included a 12-foot birdie on 14 (after a double-bogey there on Saturday), a 12-foot birdie on 12, a two-footer on 16 and a two-putt birdie on 17.
The birdie on 16 came after the ball took a fortunate kick toward the hole.
“A guy watching us said that it looked like a member’s bounce,” White said.
In the Senior Division for those over 55, Marc Cox of High Point finished with a 150 total (74-76) to edge Garland Yates by a shot.