Palmetto Championship sweep: Forsyth, Schlottman
SUNSET BEACH, N.C. After jumping state lines to Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center, Forsyth (N.C.) Country Day School swept the Championship Flight titles at the Palmetto High School Championship. Ben Schlottman, a junior for Forsyth, won the individual title on the first playoff hole over Forestview (N.C.) High School’s Will Blalock.
The Furies shot 26-over 602 at the two-day tournament. Forestview and defending champions, Myers Park (N.C.) High School finished two strokes back at 28-over 604.
Forsyth’s victory at the Palmetto comes at bittersweet time for the program. Three-year head coach Dennis Ring is leaving at the end of the season. He and his family are picking up and moving to Daphne, Ala., where his wife found a new job at Bayside Academy.
“It’s going to be tough to leave them, and I’ll definitely have to keep up with them, but they are a wonderful group of kids and I feel like they are just another one of my children,” Ring said.
No. 18 on the Jones course proved to be a crucial hole for Forsyth. Three players – Schlottman, Eric Mitchell and Tyler Hartely – birdied the par 5. Runner-ups Forestview and Myers Park went even and 2 under, respectively, on the last hole.
“Those three kids made huge putts for us with holes to go, and we battled two incredible teams down the stretch,” Ring said.
Schlottman not only birdied No. 18 during the final round, but he also birdied it on the first playoff hole to win.
In that final round, Schlottman hit a wedge to 9 feet and made his putt to shoot a bogey-free 4-under 68.
“I had a feeling I had to make that one to be in contention for the individual title,” Schlottman added.
He signed his scorecard and put some Josh Turner on his iPod to get ‘in the slow, smooth mind-set,’ he said, for the playoff.
During the playoff, Schlottman piped it down the middle of the fairway, while Blalock was in the left rough off the tee. Schlottman took an iron and put his second shot in the right greenside bunker, but luckily, it was a good lie.
Blalock was laying five before he was even on the putting surface.
Schlottman allowed himself to get up and down from the bunker for birdie, even though he had two putts to win.
“It really means more as a team (to win the title). We’ve come in second place at this event so many times and it feels so great to finally get a win in one of these big events,” Schlottman said. “As an individual, I’m really happy. I haven’t won in a while, and I felt like I was going to break though soon, so I’m excited.”
Schlottman, No. 29 in the class of 2014 Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings, wears orange pants or shorts on the final day of each tournament.
“It’s just kind of my thing,” Schlottman said.
It’s fitting that he has committed to Auburn. The Tigers are also orange and blue.
And you know who else’s alma mater is Auburn? Jason Dufner.
His ‘Dufnering’ has been a craze on Twitter for the last few days, and even Schlottman is doing it.
“I’ve got into it,” said Schlottman smiling. “If you go on @FCDSGolf, I’m on there in the middle of Joe’s Crab Shack last night, ‘Dufnering.’
These days, it’s good to be a Tiger.
St. Joseph (N.J.) High School came from behind to win the First Flight division. The team shot a final-round 28 over for a total of 81 over to win by six shots over first-round leader Statesville (N.C.) High School.
Hometown boy and North Myrtle Beach’s Vijay Mishra shot 78-75 to win by two over Carolina Day School’s Scott Adams. After Round 1 Mishra had been T-2, three shots back of the lead.