“This one is for Chipper.”
That’s what Eli Scott said after he won the 69th annual Golden Isles Invitational on Saturday.
Despite losing a family pet and bearing the unpredictable weather, Scott prevailed and took home the trophy after falling short last year.
“It’s an honor,” Scott said about winning the Golden Isles Invitational. “I know a lot of big names in the past have won it, so I’m just glad to have my name in that group.”
When asked if he changed up his game plan from last year, he said no, that he stuck to his game plan and it paid off.
“I stuck to the game plan that I had all week,” Scott said. “That’s what cost me last year, a few bad decisions coming in, but this year I stuck to it, and that’s what gave me the win.”
Scott scored a 21-under 195, a tournament record, and beat out Josh Williams, who got second place with a 17-under.
Rusty Mosely placed third with a 15-under, Jake Maples placed fourth with a 14-under, and Thomas Hogan wrapped up the top five with a 13-under.
Williams and Scott went head-to-head the entire round until hole 16 when he bogeyed, and Scott nailed a birdie shot.
Despite having someone knocking on the door to win the tournament again, Scott said that he wasn’t nervous. Hole 16 was one that made Scott feel like he could close out and win.
“To be honest, I wasn’t really nervous, I was in such a zone I wasn’t really feeling anything,” Scott said. “I knew the bogey on 16 for Josh and me tapping in for birdie was probably going to do it and that I was probably going to close it out.”
Dan Hogan, the general manager at the Brunswick Country Club, talked about how the final round was one to remember.
“Those guys were lighting it up,” Hogan said. “The two went toe-to-toe kind of like a heavyweight fight, and they were answering each other all the way through. Pretty much kind of created a gap from the field, so no one was going to catch them.
“Eli’s a very good player; he won the College of Coastal Georgia event in February when we hosted it here. So he’s a quality player, a very nice young man, a worthy champion and played great.”
Scott is a rising sophomore at Coastal Georgia and already made an impact for the Mariners in his freshman year. He was named to the All-Sun Conference team, named GCAA NAIA All-American and NAIA First-Team All-American, got voted onto the GCAA All-Freshman team, and claimed six top-10 finishes this past season.
Coastal Georgia golf coach Mike Cook came out to watch the final nine holes. Cook seemed proud of Scott and said that when it comes to winning, he doesn’t play around.
“He’s the best freshman player I’ve ever coached,” Cook said. “He could go down as one of the best players I’ve ever coached. Eli plays like a professional young man. He’s not a kid. The way he acts, the way he keeps his composure, the way he plays, the way he thinks; he thinks like a pro. He’s all business and doesn’t mess around when he plays.”
Scott dedicated this tournament to his dog Chipper, that passed away on Friday. After the round, he said that his dog was named after the former Atlanta Braves third basemen, Chipper Jones.
“This win is dedicated to him,” Scott said about his late dog. “He was a chocolate lab, and he was a beast.”