Feb. 21, 2005
ATLANTA – Nicholas Thompson fired a six-under-par 66 Sunday, securing his biggest amateur victory at the third biennial Jones Cup Invitational at Sea Island, Ga.
The Georgia Tech senior from Coral Springs, Fla., the nation’s fourth-ranked amateur according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, took a two-stroke victory (77-71-66 – 214) and held off Yellow Jacket teammate Roberto Castro, who finished sixth (71-73-74 – 218) and Brian Herman (71-73-72 – 216), who finished second.
“I didn’t know where the guys behind me stood,” said Thompson, a Coral Springs, Fla., native, whose 214 was two-under-par on the par-72 Ocean Forest Golf Club. “I was thinking the last putt would just get me closer (to the lead) at least. I knew a low score could be out there, but I knew the wind was starting to blow and 15, 16, 17 and 18 can just punish people.”
Castro and Harman, co-leaders after the second round, were tied at 2-under before falling away late in the final round. Castro faulted first, hitting his tee ball into the marsh on the par-3 17th and making double bogey. He followed with a wayward drive on 18.
“I just happened to make my two worst swings of the tournament on the last two holes,” said Castro, a sophomore from Alpharetta, Ga.
Thompson and Castro led a strong showing by Tech golfers in the event. Sophomore Kevin Larsen finished 10th after a final-round 68 left him with a tournament total of 220, four over par. Senior Chan Song (79-72-74 – 225) and junior Mike Barbosa (74-72-79 – 225) tied for 24th place in the 81-player field.
The Jones Cup was first contested in 2001 as a prelude to the 38th Walker Cup Match. This event brings together many of the finest amateurs from the United States and abroad for three days of competition. The 40th Walker Cup matches will be held this year in Wheaton, Ill., on Aug. 13-14.
Tech’s golf team, ranked No. 2 in the nation, returns to action Sunday at the Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.