AIKEN — Thirty-six holes wasn’t enough golf to determine the City of Aiken Amateur champion.
Neither was an aggregate four-hole playoff. Brian Quackenbush and Bo McCullough needed eight holes of sudden death.
But with the sun dropping on the horizon, Quackenbush knocked in a four-foot birdie putt on the 12th extra hole – his 30th of the day – to win the title at Aiken Golf Club.
“I finally hit the green,” Quackenbush quipped after his birdie on the par-3 18th hole, his fifth time playing the hole Sunday.
Quackenbush and McCullough each finished regulation at 2-under-par 138. A four-hole playoff was the format to determine the overall champion.
The golfers played the four holes in even-par fashion. Then in sudden death, they matched pars and birdies for seven holes.
Finally, Quackenbush’s 5-iron shot on the 190-yard par-3 hole started at the flag and never left it. It settled four feet away.
McCullough’s tee shot came up about 30 feet short, and he figured he must make it to continue the playoff. His effort just missed and rolled by five feet. When he missed that, Quackenbush tapped in his short birdie putt for the victory.
“I felt like I had to give that one a run,” McCullough said.
Quackenbush’s victory ended a two-year run as champion by left-handed golfer Patrick Cunning. The former University of South Carolina golfer mounted a solid defense with rounds of 70 and 73.
Quackenbush, 41, is a former professional golfer whose career ended because of an injury. He said he’s been in long playoffs before, but none that went 12 holes.
He was familiar with his opponent; both regulars at Aiken Golf Club.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” Quackenbush said. “He’s so steady and a great putter.”
Other winners Sunday were Jimmy Hamilton, seniors; Dick Korzen, super seniors; Jake Carter, juniors; Julia Fountain, ladies; and Hannah Griffith, junior ladies.