Chandler stays cool in Georgia Amateur final round

sports@macon.comJuly 13, 2014 

Will Chandler might have been one of the youngest players in contention at the Georgia Amateur Championship this weekend, but his Sunday play sure didn’t show it.

The 16-year-old rising high school junior shot a 2-under-par 68 in the final round at Idle Hour Club, ending a strong showing in his second appearance in the tournament. Chandler went 3 under on the back nine to finish in a tie for second at 1 under, four shots behind the winner, Robert Mize.

“I really don’t think about age when I am on the golf course,” said Chandler, who already has committed to play at Georgia. “Everyone at this level is very good, and for me in a big tournament, it’s just a matter of controlling my nerves. Seeing the big crowds on some of the holes can get to you, but I am getting used to it, and I think I do a good job of being able to block all of that out.

“After that, it’s just playing golf.”

Chandler had to battle on the front nine, starting with seven straight pars, before a bogey on No. 8. He started to get in a groove on the back, getting a birdie on No. 10 and then adding two more on Nos. 14 and 16 to end up with his third sub-par round of the tournament.

“I had a great time out here this week. The golf course is very tricky, but I was pleased with the way I hit the ball all weekend,” said Chandler, who played with current Georgia player Sepp Straka on Sunday. “It could have been better if I didn’t shoot 74 on Friday, but I can’t be too mad about that. Obviously I would have liked to win the tournament, but I am satisfied how I finished.”

Chandler ended the tournament with 46 pars, 15 birdies, eight bogeys and three double-bogey, and gave some of the credit to his caddie, Brantley Wilson, who is a friend from the junior golf circuit in Georgia.

“This is Brantley’s home course, and when I saw where the tournament was, I asked him if he would caddie for me, and he said yes,” Chandler said. “He was a big help to me because he is so familiar with the course, and he was very important helping me read the greens. It was definitely and big part to my success this week.”

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