Vaughn wins SJGT Tournament of Champions
Carson Vaughn outlasted his opponents and the elements last weekend among two wet, cold and windy days on the golf course to win the Southeastern Junior Golf Tour’s Tournament of Champions event in Opelika, Ala.
Needing two extra holes of play, the Newnan High senior standout who is headed to play at the University of West Georgia next season held off S.M. Lee of Buford and Luukas Alakulppi of Valdosta to win the Male 14-19 division at the Robert Trent Jones Trail’s Grand National Lake Course.
The playoff, which began amidst fog and misting rain shortly before sunset, found Vaughn holding off both opponents thanks to a clutch tee-shot on the second playoff hole.
Vaughn, who put together impressive rounds of 74 and 72 over two rounds to advance to the playoff, found himself deadlocked with Lee and Alakulppi at a 36-hole total of 146 as the trio made their way to the first playoff hole on No. 18. Vaughn and Lee each made par to continue play to the par-3 17th hole, where the Newnan standout hit his tee shot to within five feet and made a birdie putt for the win.
Vaughn will now have his name engraved on the winner’s trophy, which remains at the Grand National Course clubhouse. Past winners of the event include four PGA tour members — Russell Henley, Harris English, Brian Harman and Georgia native Chris Kirk.
It was Vaughn’s second SJGT tournament victory this fall. In early September, he captured the SJGT’s Southeastern Junior event with a two-round total of 142 led by a final score of 68. He also placed sixth at the SJGT UGA- AutoTrader.com Invitational on Oct. 5 and ranks third in the point standings between 16-19 year-olds.
Heritage School standout Annie Swords ranks 12th among the Female 15-19 division in point standings among over 50 players throughout the Southeast.