Lipscomb golfer wins Dogwood

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Lipscomb golfer wins Dogwood

As late as Monday, Dawson Armstrong didn’t expect to play in the Dogwood Invitational, but he walked away with the tournament victory Saturday.

After the qualifying round Monday, which for a point he wasn’t even in, Armstrong was the first alternate. When he stepped off the course Monday tournament chairman Edward Toledano told him he was in the main field; another golfer dropped out.

Armstrong responded with three rounds of stellar golf and won the annual amateur tournament at Druid Hills Golf Club with a 16-under 200. Armstrong, who plays for Lipscomb, sealed the two-stroke victory with a birdie on the 18th hole in the final round Saturday.

“Everything at the end of the day turned out (to be) what I could ask for,” Armstrong said. “It was great. It was a roller coaster, no doubt.”

Heading into the final hole, Armstrong led two players, including second-place finisher Ashton Van Horne, by one stroke. Neither of those players birdied the par-5, which meant Armstrong needed only a par to win. He did one shot better.

“There were definitely nerves,” Armstrong said of his final round. But Armstrong calmed himself by following a new routine. Before each round, he tells himself that in 20 years or so people won’t remember the result of this golf tournament. Those thoughts gave Armstrong a sense of peace, and Saturday, he appeared relaxed.

Armstrong was the leader entering play Saturday, but he trailed by one shot after 15 holes. But a double bogey by then-leader Van Horne, who finished second, and a par by Armstrong gave the Lipscomb golfer a one-stroke advantage, a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.

After Friday’s third round was cancelled because of severe weather, the Dogwood was shortened to a 54-hole tournament. Van Horne, who plays for Belmont, was the co-leader after the first round, but fell into a tie for third after the second round Thursday.

Brad Dalke, an Oklahoma signee, and Paul Boshoff, who’s from South Africa, both finished third at 13-under 203.

Last year’s champion Trey Rule, who plays for Mercer, tied for 39th with an even-par 214.

Will Chandler, who attends Marist School, had his best round of the tournament Saturday, a 6-under 66, and moved into a tie for 15th, the second-highest finish for an American high school student. Georgia golfer Zach Healy led the way for players with Georgia connections with a fifth-place finish.

At the end of the day, though, Armstrong was the golfer standing in front of the 18th green and holding the hefty winner’s trophy aloft.

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