Rally on final day nets title

Now that's he is the Augusta City Amateur champion, maybe more people will spell Jordan Johnstun's last name correctly.


Johnstun, an Evans resident and Georgia Southern golfer who plays left-handed, made a name for himself Sunday by rallying to win the Regions Cup tournament at Forest Hills Golf Club.

Tied for fifth and two shots off the lead entering the final round, Johnstun closed with 3-under-par 69 to win by two strokes over Doug Weiss, who had 73.

Johnstun, who opened with 72-71, finished at 4-under 212.

After Weiss came in at 214, teenagers finished third and tied for fourth.

Shepherd Archie, 17, closed with 70 to take third place at 215. Lance Johnson, 18, had 74 for 216 to finish tied for fourth with veteran Bo McCullough, who had 68, the low round of the day.

Matt NeSmith, the 13-year-old who was tied for fifth after rounds of 71-72, closed with 78 and finished tied for 12th.

Second-round leader Tripp Kuhlke struggled on the front nine and ended up with 80. He finished tied for eighth.

Whenever someone is writing his last name down, Johnstun tells them it's spelled S-T-U-N at the end.

"If I don't do that, then everybody misses it," he said. "I don't know anyone else who spells it with a U."

Johnstun's family moved to Evans from LaGrange, Ga., in early 2006, which explains why he's not well known in the area. He is the 2006 club champion at Bartram Trail Golf Club and finished third in the Regions Cup tournament there in June. That was Johnstun's only other Regions Cup appearance before this week.

It was the stature of the city amateur that drew Johnstun's interest.

"I decided to play because it's the Augusta City Amateur," he said. "I think that sounds like a good title to have: to be the Augusta City Amateur champion."

Johnstun, who was in the third-to-last group on the course Sunday, thought he'd need a birdie on the 18th hole to win.

He pushed a 4-iron off the tee into the left trees, which is bordered by out of bounds.

"I thought it was out of bounds," he said.

The ball dropped straight down into the rough, and Johnstun hit a great second shot from a tight lie onto the green and two-putted for par to cap off a four-birdie, one bogey round.

It was another record-setting day in the senior division. A week after Robert Samuels broke the 18-hole Regions Cup scoring record with 63, Bob Varn broke the record for lowest winning score and largest margin of victory.

Varn, of Orangeburg, S.C., shot 69-68-68, finished at 11-under 205 and won by 12 shots over Glen Hurt.

No one in the regular or senior division of this tournament, now in its 28th year, had been in the 60s all three rounds.

"Three rounds in the 60s was what I was shooting for. The only pressure I had was to shoot another good score today," said Varn, who started the day with a three-shot lead and pulled away after an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole, where he made a 6-footer.

Varn's game isn't flashy and neither was his putting. He never made a long putt all week, but he converted "the majority" of the 5- and 6-footers he faced, he said.

Varn didn't have a 3-putt green in the tournament. Part of that he attributed to the much-improved quality of the greens.

"In the past, the greens have been so tricky, everybody had 3-putts," Varn said.

"The course condition had a lot to do with me playing as well as I did."

Reach David Westin at (706) 724-0851 or david.westin@augustachronicle.com.



Development of China Tour ahead of schedule

The PGA Tour China Series began in 2014 and by all accounts is ahead of schedule in developing local talent.

Last year, Li Haotong was one... Read more

Golf Glance



SITE: Las Vegas

Course: TPC Summerlin. Yardage: 7,255. Par: 71

Purse: $6.6... Read more