Wake Forest Senior Brendan Gielow, part of the USA’s successful 2009 Walker Cup team, made a 32-place leap up the Ranking to 77th in Week Seven after victory at the Jacksonville University Invitational, played on TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course.
“To win on this course, and birdie 16 and 17, is pretty cool,” said Gielow, who claimed a one-stroke victory over Kelvin Day of Charleston Southern, despite a bogey at the 18th. “I hope to play this course as a professional one day, and having won here, even though it was a college tournament, is going to give me some confidence for when that happens.”
Meanwhile, Dean O’Riley took the South African Stroke Play Championship at Pearl Valley by six shots. But it wasn’t as comfortable as it sounds. Despite going into the final round with a seven-shot lead, by the ninth hole the 20-year-old had relinquished his advantage after dropping six shots on the outward half.
After the turn, however, O’Riley rallied to come back in three-under-par 33 for a final-round 75 and an important victory.
“This is a big win for me,” explained the Lake Club Benoni member, who is up 17 to WAGRank 33 this week. “I came back nicely after my disastrous start.”
Back in the States, Fresno State sophomore Bhavik Patel carded six birdies in his closing 13 holes to win the University of San Diego Callaway Invitational at the Farms Golf Club, California, by three shots. His performance was hailed by Fresno’s head coach, Mike Watney, who said: I can't say enough about Bhavik's performance. He's just a special player. To post a score like that on this course is just amazing.
Patel, who reached the semi-finals of the 2009 US Amateur Championship, gets a 27-position boost to finish Week Seven WAGRanked 39.
Finally, University of Mississippi Junior Jonathan Randolph claimed his second title of the year after shooting a final-round 67 at the Gator Invitational. Randolph, who was recently named to the Ben Hogan Award Watch List, birdied his final five holes to take the tournament, pipping Louisiana State University’s Andrew Loupe by a solitary stroke.
“I knew if I got off to a good start today I would have a chance,” said Randolph, who occupies WAGRank 19 this Week after jumping 13 places. “I made some putts today that weren't going in yesterday. I grinded it out today and made a few big putts. Fortunately, it was enough to take home the trophy."
Italy’s Matteo Manassero remains WAGR Number One.