Owen takes amateur title

Henry Owen, of Clover, hits the ball during the 2007 Rock Hill Country Club Tournament in Rock Hill.
Henry Owen, of Clover, hits the ball during the 2007 Rock Hill Country Club Tournament in Rock Hill.

Henry Owen shot a 73 on the final round, third-lowest on the day, but it was more than enough to give him the 2007 York County Amateur Golf Championship title at the York County Country Club.

Owen built a six-stroke lead by shooting a tournament-best 67 on Saturday at Spring Lake Country Club in York. The Clover native played many rounds at what he considers his home course, and it was enough to propel him to the tournament championship.

Top prize in the tournament was $750 in prize money. The $750 is as large as an amateur top prize can be, according to United States Golf Association rules.

"I really played well yesterday," said Owen. "I know Spring Lake's course very well, and it was enough to prepare me for the final round. A six-stroke lead is fairly safe, but I felt some extra pressure this afternoon because there are a lot of great golfers out here."

Sam McCrory shot a day-best 71 on Sunday, but no one ever got too close to Owen, who finished the tournament with a tournament-record 5-under-par. Chris Chamberlain, who finished third overall, also had a good round with 72 on Sunday.

Gene Bass won the first flight division of the tournament, compiling a 245 score for the weekend. Danny Mitchell finished nine strokes behind Bass to warrant second place in the division.

Bass built an insurmountable lead the first day of the weekend, shooting a 75 at Pinetuck Golf Club. The first flight is set up with golfers over a 9 handicap.

"My luck kind of ran out this afternoon," said Bass, "but I knew that I had played well enough the first two days to make a few mistakes out there today. This is my third year playing in this tournament, and it has gotten better and better each year."

Tournament director Richard Giles was equally impressed with the way the weekend played out.

"This tournament will continue to grow," said Gilles. "We finally got a big-name sponsor with Dick's Sporting Goods. We have a lot of talented golfers in York County, and it showed with some of the low scores on the weekend.

"I am looking forward to getting a few more players out here next year. Other than the heat, this has been a great weekend."