ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With a five-shot lead with five holes to play, it seemed like Victor native and St. Bonaventure alum Christian Chapman was going to run away with the RDGA District Championship on Saturday at the Country Club of Rochester.
However, winning a golf tournament almost never comes that easy.
Chapman would bogey the 14th hole and pull his approach on the 15th hole out of bounds leading to a double bogey. Combined with a birdie on 16 for Bobby McCartney who was behind him in second place, Chapman’s lead had evaporated to just one shot.
But Chapman would not let his recent struggles phase him. He parred the last three holes to secure a one-shot victory over McCartney and win the John H. Ryan Jr. Memorial Championship at +1.
“I’ve dreamed about it for a long time. This is one of the tournaments in this area that means more than anything,” said Chapman after his victory. “This is honestly our region’s biggest event- Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester. So to be Ryan champ, I’ve played in this tournament since I was probably 14 so it’s hard to put into words right now but it means a lot to me.”
Chapman got up and down for par on 16 and on 18 he two-putted for victory, sinking a putt from just under five feet to finish the round strong.
“I’ve been grinding it out for a long time so I just told myself to stick with it, do everything that I’ve been doing good,” said Chapman, who shot 65 on Friday, the lowest round of the tournament by three strokes. “I had a great round yesterday so I thought about everything that I did then to keep me going forward. It feels so good to get on top there.”
Full results from the event can be found on the RDGA website.