Bryce Lewis grabbed the early tournament lead and then hung on for dear life, surviving a final-round 5-over 75 to win the 69th Sunnehanna Amateur on Saturday at Sunnehanna Country Club in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Lewis, the University of Tennessee player who was second-team All-SEC this past season, started the tournament with a 6-under 64 and grew his lead to three shots by the time he registered a 4-under 66 during the third round. The lefty from Hendersonville, Tennessee, opened his last round with two bogeys and failed to record a birdie for the entire day, but a two-putt par from 30 feet on the final hole would prove to be the difference. Runners-up Kelly Chinn (Duke) and Maxwell Ford (Georgia) made bogey on No. 18, falling one stroke shy of Lewis.
Lewis finished at 5-under 275 during a week during which only 10 players ended in red figures. A long list of top players entered the chase as Lewis struggled. Five players – Jackson Rivera, Mark Goetz, Caleb Surratt, Yuxin Lin and Jiri Zuska – tied for fourth at 3-under.
As the final group played the 17th hole, four players – Lewis, Chinn, Ford and Louisville’s Zuska –sat at 5-under. Zuska bogeyed his final two holes.
A bit of history was achieved as Lewis became the first winner in the Elite Amateur Series, a seven-event circuit of top summer amateur tournaments. He now leads the points list, which offers a number of incentives for top-five finishers. Exemptions into the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open final qualifying, the PGA Tour’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship and select Korn Ferry Tour events are at stake. Next week’s Northeast Amateur followed by the North and South, Trans-Miss, Southern, Pacific Coast and Western amateur events also compose the EAS.
Lewis came into the week at No. 79 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. His 2021 included a win in the Collegiate Invitational at the Country Club of Birmingham and a runner-up in the Southern Amateur, but Lewis hadn’t made much noise this year.
Colorado State senior Davis Bryant used a second-round 8-under 63 and then a final-round 68 to catapult himself to victory on Saturday in the 107th Southwestern Amateur at Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Bryant, of Aurora, Colorado, started the final round three strokes behind Jaden Cantafio of Washington State, but he was able to erase that deficit when he made birdies on Nos. 7, 8 and 9. Cantafio made two double bogeys in his first eight holes, leaving Bryant to spar with Gabe Salvanera of Arizona State.
Salvanera had a one-stroke advantage after a birdie on No. 12, but bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15 set him back to 10-under 274. Meanwhile, Bryant would make birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 to take a lead he would never relinquish, finishing at 12-under 272.
Bryant, who is set to start his final college season this fall, is No. 338 in the WAGR. His last win came in the 2021 Paintbrush Invitational.