After a consistent season that saw him earn seven top ten finishes, and rolling on the heels of three top three finishes, Bath, Ontario’s Austin James finally got to the top of the pile.
The long-hitting 2014 Canadian Junior Boys Champion finished off an individual victory at the NCAA Big South Conference Championship on Tuesday. The Junior at Charleston Southern University carried a three shot lead into the final round at The Patriot at Grand Harbor golf course in Ninety-Six South Carolina and stretched that to a four-stroke margin by the end of the 54-hole tournament.
James had opened with rounds of 68 and 68 and completed the win with a 69 that saw him convert five birdies. That included four of them in a five stretch early in the last round, on holes four through eight. He completed play at -11 to prevail over Isaiah Logue (Liberty) and Zach Seabolt (Winthrop) who each finished at -7.
Austin put a lot of birdies on the board during the championship and he knew it was essential to his success.
“(I) really just stayed patient and give myself as many looks as possible,” James shared with Flagstick.com. “My putting was feeling good this year.”
With so many top finishes of late James knew he was close to breaking through. “Ya for sure, my last three results were 3,3,2 so I felt like if I kept putting myself in positions like that then eventually it would happen.”
He now looks to use the momentum from this win for the next event, not only for himself, but for his Buccaneers team.
Austin shared, “Very much looking forward to regionals; our team should get a bid so looking forward to our team having a good result.”
Currently ranked 44th in the GolfWeek College Men’s Rankings, Austin lost in the quarter-finals of last year’s United States Men’s Amateur Championship but has continued to improve. This latest result shows he is a player to be paid attention to throughout this rest of the this college season and throughout the amateur schedule this summer.
With this win he was also named the Big South Conference Player of the Year.