Georgia Techs Connor Howe wins Southeastern Amateur


Connor Howe thought he only needed a par on the 18th hole to win the 91st Southeastern Amateur.

His driver off the tee found the left rough — no problem — leaving 100 yards to the green. His wedge went a little long, leaving a chip with about 10 feet of green to work with, slightly uphill with a nice lie.

The chip was perfect. We’re talking in-the-hole-for-birdie perfect, and it needed to be. If Howe had made par like he planned, he would have found himself in a playoff.

Coming out of 74-minute weather delay, Kentucky’s Alex Goff made birdie on No. 18 to tie the lead at 10 under. Howe’s hole-out gave him a one-shot win at 11 under after rounds of 67-65-67 at Country Club of Columbus in Georgia.

Leaderboard: Southeastern Amateur

Goff, a rising sophomore for the Wildcats, finished took solo second at 10 under. Georgia Southern’s Ben Carr (-9), Georgia’s Will Chandler (-8) and Furman’s Keller Harper (-7) round out the top five. Coastal Carolina’s States Fort finished sixth at 6 under, with four players T-7 at 5 under: Austin Fulton (Mississippi State), Jordan Doull (Columbus State), Colin Bowles (Georgia Southern) and Bryce Lewis (Tennessee).

“I knew (Goff) was at 9 under with one to go, but I didn’t now he birdied the last. I thought he made par. It kind of just worked out,” said Howe, who’s not one to normally check leaderboards. “I drove it pretty well this week, hitting fairways allows you to attack pins and I’ve been working on my wedges a lot this summer. There’s only two par 5’s out here so you need to hit wedges close, make a few putts and I was able to do that.”

More: Preston Summerhays leads at Sunnehanna Amateur

It’s rare for players to play so consistently well in a tournament debut. Three rounds in the 60s is no joke, especially at an event like the Southeastern. But Howe liked Country Club of Columbus’ layout during the practice round and thought it fit his eye and game pretty well.

“My twin brother actually played in the Southeastern last year, so I was able to talk to him and take advantage of that,” added Howe.

Howe and his Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech teammates have been forces to be reckoned with in amateur tournaments over the last year. Andy Ogletree won last year’s U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst. Tyler Strafaci also won at Pinehurst, two weeks ago at the esteemed North & South Amateur. Last week Strafaci won the Palmetto Amateur, while Luke Schniederjans recently won the Georgia Amateur.

“Having to beat guys who are really good players so you can go to events makes you tougher and forces you to get better and work on the areas you need to,” Howe said of the weekly competition during the season. “When you actually get out on the course, it makes it easier to compete.”

As for what’s next, Howe isn’t sure whether he wants to go out on top this summer or find another event and take advantage of his championship-level form before returning to school this fall.

Regardless if he plays again or not, he’s taking some hardware back to Atlanta.



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