ROANOKE, Va. - University of Virginia sophomore Jack Montague, of Manakin-Sabot, Va. captured the Delta Dental State Open of Virginia on Saturday at Roanoke’s Ballyhack Golf Club in dramatic fashion. Montague defeated Virginia Tech rising senior Mark Lawrence on the first hole of a playoff to become the first amateur to win the title since 2011.
“This is awesome, definitely the biggest win of my career so far,” Montague said. “Especially, after my first day, shooting 2 over, to come back Friday and Saturday and play as well as I did, it’s awesome. It feels really good. It hasn’t sunk in, but I’m sure it will.”
Montague rebounded from an opening-round 74 with a pair of 66s for a three-day 206. That was one shot better than Haymarket amateur Scott Shingler, Forest amateur and Liberty University golfer Isaac Simmons and PGA professional Josh Speight. Shingler and Speight—who earned the Lyn Luck Trophy as the low professional–were in the final group and had multiple chances to seize control of the tournament. Instead it was Montague, who was in the fourth-to-last group of the day, who got going early and hung around enough to sneak into a playoff.
Early on, Montague and Simmons set the tone for the day by going on a birdie binge. Simmons birdied the first four holes, Montague four of the first five. Both quickly worked themselves back into the title hunt.
“Isaac and I are really close friends, and we play with each other a lot outside of (competitive events),” Montague said. “To get off to the starts that we did, it was fun. I was definitely feeding off him, for sure. He was close on every hole. It’s a lot easier to play when you’re seeing good shots from your playing partners.”
Montague made just one bogey—on the par-5 10th—but rallied with three more birdies before closing with a par on 18 to get to 10 under. Then, he waited in the clubhouse as the drama unfolded on Ballyhack’s difficult closing stretch.
In the playoff, Montague found the fairway with his drive. Lawrence chose a driving iron off the tee but pushed it left into the grassy hillside. His second shot ended up near a bunker short of the green. Montague was already on the green in two-putt territory, and Lawrence knew he had to get up and down to extend the playoff.
Lawrence’s third shot ended up 15 feet behind the hole, and he was unable to convert the putt.
“It’s a big confidence booster, for sure,” Montague said. “I feel like I’ve been pretty close to playing good golf a couple of times this summer. It’s just been a few things here or there. This week, it all kind of came together. It just shows me that I can compete. I’m real excited about it.”
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