After posting the same scores in all three rounds of the Cleveland HealthCare Foundation Junior (71-70-67), Zachary Bauchou of Forest, Va., and Chad Cox of Charlotte, N.C., competed in a record-setting eight-hole playoff at Deer Brook Golf Club. The two broke the seven-hole record that was held by Jesse Mueller of Mesa, Ariz., and Brett Tobyne of Lakewood, Calif. (1999 Aspen Junior Classic).
The memorable playoff took place on No. 18 and gave spectators in Shelby an exciting finish to a great tournament. On the 423-yard par-4, the hole was in the back left corner of the green just above a treacherous ridge. Both juniors had several looks at birdies, but weren’t able to convert on a tricky green.
“The first couple times around were really nerve racking,” Bauchou said. “After a few times around I got in my comfort zone.”
After both juniors made seven straight pars, the eighth attempt was the one that sealed the victory for Bauchou, though it didn’t come easy. He was able to stay in rhythm by making his eighth straight par for the win as birdies were nowhere to be found in the playoff.
“It (No. 18) was such a tough pin location,” Cox said. “I knew it was going to be hard to make birdies, however, I felt like I was striking the ball great and played pretty well.”
The lengthy playoff was not only an AJGA record but also the first AJGA victory for Bauchou. The Virginia native was shocked he won the playoff with a par but feels this win will give him the experience he needs to win more tournaments.
“I’ve never finished this high in an AJGA event,” Bauchou said. “It’s very special to win since it’s a great tournament with a great field. It gives me a lot of confidence knowing I can play and win at the highest level and it’s definitely a confidence booster.”
Written by Nick Moreland, AJGA Communications