GRANITEVILLE --- Nicholas Reach closed out his junior golf career with a stunning performance -- and his first victory outside his native Pennsylvania -- on Friday in the inaugural Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club.
The 18-year-old Reach, who will play major amateur events this summer as he prepares to join the University of Georgia golf team in the fall, completed a wire-to-wire victory with ease.
He closed with 4-under-par 68 to win the exclusive event by eight shots over Patrick Rodgers, of Avon, Ind., who had a final-round 67.
"It's just fantastic," said Reach, whose victory earned him a sponsor exemption into the Nationwide Tour's Melwood Prince George's County Open.
Reach, who extended his lead every day, finished the 54-hole event at 20-under 196. He led by five shots after a course record-tying 62 on Wednesday and by six after 66 on Thursday. The 68 on Friday gave him an eight-stroke victory.
At the awards presentation on the Sage Valley putting green, Reach was presented the "Sage Valley Gold" jacket by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, who said he had never presented an award to an amateur.
Finchem said Reach's play reminded him of "somebody else named Nicklaus."