Sumter wins first Cross team title

Sumter High School's Brian Amick, a USC Aiken signee, hits out of the sand on the 17th hole Saturday afternoon. Amick, who shot 72, sealed the victory for his team with a birdie on No. 18.

AIKEN --- Cody Proveaux played Palmetto Golf Club for the first time Friday.


Late Saturday afternoon, he didn't want to leave.

The Pelion High School sophomore carded consecutive rounds of 1-under-par 70 to win the 36th edition of the Southern Cross tournament by one shot.

Proveaux, who finished at 2-under-par 140, edged Blythewood's Damon Postal (71) and Dorman's Blake Kennedy (72).

"I wish I could play here every day," Proveaux said.

First-round leader Sumter won its first Southern Cross team title, closing with a final-round, 11-over 224 to edge Blythewood by two and Dorman by five. USC Aiken signee Brian Amick, who shot 72, sealed the victory for the Gamecocks with a birdie at No. 18.

Sumter, which posted a 16-over 442 overall total, won its fourth tournament this year. South Aiken tied for fourth with A.C. Flora at 450, while North Augusta finished 12th (466) and Aiken 14th (470).

"Our team's gotten better and better as the season has gone on," Sumter coach Jeff Schaffer said.

"It's pretty special winning a tournament that's this prestigious."

Sumter and South Aiken were the lone teams in the 23-team field to each have all four golfers shoot in the 70s both days. Senior Chandler Brazeal, who finished tied for 10th, paced the Thoroughbreds with his final-round 72.

South Aiken begins play in its region tournament today. Brazeal said playing Palmetto should only help his team going forward.

"This course is probably the hardest course we'll play all year," he said. "Having eight scores in the 70s is a big confidence booster."

Proveaux, who lost the Class AA title in a playoff last year, also received a shot of confidence after his second win of the year. He rolled in a 20-foot birdie at the opening hole, but he missed a 5-foot birdie chance at No. 2. After a wayward drive led to double bogey at the difficult par-4 third, he dropped a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 4. From there, he hit wedges close for birdies on the three par-5 holes.

"I putted amazing," Proveaux said. "That's the only reason I kept it together."

Proveaux received some pre-tournament help from Steve Hudson, who works with his mother, Donna. Familiar with the famed course, Hudson gave Proveaux advice on where to hit the ball and where not to go.

With the victory, Proveaux received an exemption into July's Palmetto Amateur. It'll give him an opportunity to rekindle his love affair with the famed golf course.