David Ford shot a 6-under 65 in the final round to claim the title and match a scoring record in the 116th Southern Amateur hosted by Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Georgia.
Ford, of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, made five birdies on the back nine at the Plantation Course in a closing 5-under 31 to break free of a crowded leaderboard that featured several top junior and college players. His 20-under 264 total put him three strokes clear of Louisville’s Jiri Zuska and Georgia Southern’s Mason Williams. It also tied Maxwell Moldovan (2021) for the lowest score in Southern Amateur history.
“I haven’t won in so long, and I had a lot of emotions in the final round – and especially yesterday – that I haven’t felt in a while,” Ford said. “It feels really good to win, and it hasn’t really set in yet.”
Ford, a rising sophomore at North Carolina, has been well known in junior golf circles for many years, especially given that his identical twin, Maxwell, is a solid player at Georgia. The two were highly recruited and decided to go different paths, although David’s development has outpaced his brother’s to this point. David came into the week ranked No. 18 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, ahead of Maxwell at No. 68.
This is the biggest victory of David’s young amateur career. He shot a second-round 62 – despite making a double bogey on the par-4 eighth hole – to put himself into the mix, but he still trailed Williams by three strokes heading into the final day.
By the time the last groups were making the turn, a handful of players were around the lead. Caleb Surratt, the recent Terra Cotta Invitational winner, reached 16-under before a triple bogey on No. 12 sank his chances. Ford, meanwhile, pulled away with birdies on Nos. 10, 13, 14, 16 and 18.
Emilia Migliaccio defeated Megan Schofill, 2 and 1, in the final match to win the 120th North and South Women’s Amateur on Saturday at Pinehurst No. 2.
The 23-year-old Wake Forest Demon Deacon from Cary, North Carolina, ran the table in match play to win for the first time since early 2020. Migliaccio, ranked No. 21 in the WAGR, is returning to Wake as a graduate student this year and plans to remain an amateur as she embarks on a broadcast career with Golf Channel.
“This means everything,” Migliaccio said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been as happy to win a tournament as I have been this week just because of everything I have been through in my life career-wise and golf-wise. To win in North Carolina, I don’t remember the last time I did that, so it just means so much.”
Migliaccio has five victories in her college career, which puts her fourth in school history. She is the fourth Wake player to win the North and South, following Rachel Kuehn (2020), Laura Philo Diaz (1995) and Stephanie Neill Harner (1994).
Auburn’s Carson Bacha shot 6-under 274 and then defeated Garrett Engle with a par on the first playoff hole to win the 63rd Porter Cup on Saturday at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, New York.
Bacha, of York, Pennsylvania, chased down Engle with a 2-under 68 in the final round, falling back into a playoff after making a bogey on the par-3 18th. He had a 6-foot par putt to win at the last, but raced it by nearly 8 feet and had to make the comeback effort just to reach a playoff.
It was a tight leaderboard as several players had chances to win. Dillon Stewart of Oklahoma State made two bogeys late to miss out on a playoff by one stroke, and Southern Cal’s Jack Boulger bogeyed his last two holes to miss the playoff by two strokes.
Engle, a UT-Chattanooga transfer, shot 64 in the third round to take a two-stroke advantage into the last day, but he failed to make a birdie over his last six holes on Saturday. In the playoff, he hit his tee shot out of bounds moments after Bacha had hit his tee shot to about 15 feet.
This is another big victory for Bacha, who also won the Dogwood Invitational earlier this summer. He was ranked No. 223 in the WAGR before this week.
Staff and Wire Reports