Matt Gilchrest claimed his fifth AJGA title on Friday at the FootJoy Invitational. Gilchrest shot a final-round 2-under 68 for a comeback victory.
Gilchrest, a Southlake, Texas native bound for Auburn in the fall, carded five birdies on Friday at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. He began the day trailing Carson Young, who won the Sage Valley Junior Invitational earlier this spring, by one shot.
“Even though Carson didn’t look like he was off to a good start, just beating Carson wouldn’t be good enough,” Gilchrest said, reflecting on his back nine on Thursday where he went 3-over par. “Playing badly on the back nine yesterday helped me in a weird way. At one point I got to six up, but I knew it really wasn’t over until the last putt drops.”
Gilchrest bogeyed his final two holes on Friday, but it wasn’t enough to drop him out of the lead. George Cunningham of Tucson, Ariz., who also shot a final-round 68, was runner-up at 277. Young finished in a three-way tie for third at 281 after a final-round 77.
Gilchrest calls the FootJoy the biggest victory of his junior golf career. It’s his first invitational title. He finished T-5 at the Thunderbird International Junior in May, the last AJGA invitational he played.
For Gilchrest, however, its about more than winning.
“I think I have the most fun out of anybody in the entire AJGA,” Gilchrest said. “I could go out and shoot a 100 and still have a good time. But this week was fantastic from every aspect. It was just a perfect week.”