SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The final round of the Savannah City Junior Championship did not disappoint Tuesday, as both the boys and girls open division titles were won on the final hole.
For Madi Saxton, it took one extra hole to earn the win.
But the 13 year old from Guyton didn’t know she’d need to win in a playoff until scores were tallied up.
“When I came off [the 18th green,] I was so excited, jumpy, and shaky,” Saxton says.
She and everyone else on the course thought she had won by one. Turns out, the scorecard math from Saxton’s father and caddie was off.
Saxton was actually tied with two-time defending champ and Richmond Hill Wildcat star Erica Couch. So it was off to sudden death playoff starting on the first hole.
“I just went over to the first tee and swung a few times, just so I wouldn’t get cold,” Saxton remembers. “I was just like, ‘Breathe. Breathe really slowly.‘”
Saxton says it was a really scary wait, but it didn’t appear to phase her. She piped a drive right down the middle of the 1st fairway, a swing she says helped calm and refocus her.
Both Saxton and Couch found the green in regulation, about 12 feet from the hole for the defending champ and 18 feet for Saxton.
The Guyton youngster sank her putt for a birdie. When Couch’s birdie attempt turned left, Saxton claimed the title.
This time, officially.
“I didn’t really expect to win it. I thought really that I was probably going to get second or third,” she laughs. “I’m just happy to have played some of my best golf.”
FRIPP EARNS BACK-TO-BACK TITLES WITH LATE RALLY
Jacob Fripp stepped to the 17th tee down two shots.
Two holes later, the South Effingham Mustang was holding the first place trophy for the second straight year.
Fripp birdied the Par 3 17th to get within one, then buried a 15 footer on the Par 5 18th for an eagle and the lead. When Brenden Tigert was unable to birdie the 18th, Fripp was the champ again.
“It’s really nice to win it two years in a row, to come out here and know that I can still play,” Fripp says.
The rising junior says he just kept his calm down the stretch, even when in need of a late rally.
“On 17, I knew I needed a birdie there,” he says. “I just really wanted to hit the green. I did that, and then I just rolled the putt in. I just had the right speed on that one.”
Now down just a stroke heading to 18, Fripp says it was all about executing a simple plan.
“I knew to just keep it in the fairway off the tee. Then hit the green,” he says. “I just barely got it on, but it was nearly the exact same length putt [from 17] again. I just rolled it in. That’s all it took.”