For the first time in his career, Josh Rhodes finally won the West Kentucky Amateur Tournament at Mayfield-Graves Country Club Sunday shooting an 8-under par 132 for the two-day event.
As the only players to break par on the first round, Rhodes began the day at 5-under, two strokes ahead of Trent Johnson at 3-under. On the first hole, Rhodes put up a bogey and it looked like the tournament was going to be a dog fight.
Johnson birdied the sixth hole, knotting the scores at 4-under each. That's when Rhodes got hot, making four consecutive birdies on the seventh through 10th holes, while Johnson collected three pars and one birdie. Rhodes was back in the lead by three strokes. Rhodes bogeyed the 11th and Johnson birdied the 12th keeping the pressure on Rhodes.
Then the wheels came off for Johnson, yanking his tee shot on the 13th out-of-bounds in the woods for a double bogey, while Rhodes made birdie.
"With that three-stroke swing, I felt like I had it," said Rhodes. "Three shots up is OK, but it's kind of a weird spot. You don't want to get too conservative. You still have to hit the next shot. But I thought I can steer the ship in from here."
For Johnson, "I had a good day going ... until the 13th hole with the double bogey," he said. "I won this tournament last year, but Josh played really good today. My birdie on the last hole from a bad lie made me feel better."
While Rhodes and Johnson dominated the gallery, the rest of the Championship Flight players were putting up very impressive scores. Carter Dodson came in third firing a one-over 141 followed by a three way tie for fourth at 143 with Greg Beale, Husten Lancaster, and Lance Davis.
The First Flight was won by Matt Scott shooting a 146 with a 1-under par in his last round. Steve Cope came in second shooting 148 followed by Alex Johnson third at 149 and Clayton Bradshaw fourth at 150.
Eli Towery ran away with the Second Flight honors shooting an even par 70 for a 152 tournament total. Landon Arnett at 157 was second, and David Skyes and Nathan Moore tied for third at 158 with Jeff Wilson fourth at 159.
The Third Flight was won by Jeff Brittain at 168 Followed by Steve Wiles (169), Kevin James (171) and David Sanderson (180).
In the Senior Flight, Steve Frizzell had a one-stroke lead over Tommy Thomas at the start of the day but faltered on the front side, putting Thomas ahead by three shots. Frizzell recovered on the back nine going two-under while Thomas made two bogies on 16 and 17.
"They told me on the 18th tee that all I needed was a 70 to win," said Thomas. "So just a par on this hole."
"Sweet Swinging" Thomas put his tee shot down the middle, then calmly hit his approach over the top of the flag with a one-hop-and-stop chip shot 7 feet from the hole. The easy two-putt par was all he needed for 142 and a one-stroke win. Eddie Choate fired a 143 to take third in the Seniors and Andy Suiter was fourth with 149.
For full tournament scores, see the Fine Print on Page 3B.