07/14/09 — Burke wins third WCMA

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Burke wins third WCMA

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on July 14, 2009 10:35 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Three men entered, one survived.

 Jonathan Burke, Scott Woodard and Ryan Campbell each began the final round of the 11th annual Wayne County Mens Amateur with a chance to claim the area's top superlative.

 Burke stayed steady over the opening six holes as his two opponents faltered and eventually held on for a three-shot victory in the 54-hole event. He became the tournament's first ever three time winner.

 "I talked to Ryan before the round and we really wanted one guy to fire a 67 and the other two to shoot 68," Burke said. "That way you feel like you played your best and got beat.

 "Today felt like I played a little less-bad than the other two guys."

 Burke entered the day tied with Woodard and two strokes ahead of Campbell.

 On the ninth hole, Burke added to his lead by belting a drive inside the 100-yard marker and hitting a near-perfect wedge that spun approximately eight feet from the cup. Burke made the put and set the tone for the back nine.

 Trailing by two strokes, Woodard made a move on the 15th hole.

 The Mount Olive College standout hit a strong drive down the middle of the fairway and punching a mid-iron on to the par five green. With Burke looking to save par and MOC teammate Campbell in the bunker, Woodard had an opportunity to pull even with an eagle putt.

 The ball rolled past the whole and eventually led to a three-putt par. Campbell got up-and-down for birdie from the sand and picked up a shot.

 "That was big swing," Burke admitted. "I made par, Ryan made birdie but he was already five back and Scott missed a chance to tie it up."

 Burke put the event away on the par five 17th by hitting the biggest shot of the tournament.

 After driving the ball into the woods left of the fairway, Burke was forced to pitch out on to the short grass. Burke pulled a hybrid from the bag and blasted a shot from 225 yards to approximately 15 feet behind the hole. In true clutch fashion, Burke buried the putt and locked up his third amateur title.

 "I just wanted to get the ball on the green and it turned out better than expected," said Burke. "I had putted the ball pretty well, and I knew that putt was in the second that it came off the face."

 Burke tied Jodie Dean's WCMA record with a 54-hole total of 207 (-7). Campbell and Woodard finished tied for second, three strokes off the pace.

 In the senior division, the amateur title came down to a sudden-death playoff between Perry Balltzglier and Mario Contreras, who each carded a three-day total of 223. Balltzglier made a par on the first playoff hole and claimed the title as Contreras settled for a bogey.

 Howard Tyndall claimed his first super-senior division title by completing a wire-to-wire run with a final-round 75 that was good enough to best Chuck Kimble by three strokes. John Newsome finished third.

 "This was truly the best Wayne County Amateur yet," tournament organizer Parker King said. "We have to thank Andy's Cheeseburgers and all of the people that make this event possible.

 "This tournament had 156 competitors and the most spectators we have seen, that says a lot about the reputation that the amateur is getting with all the best local players."