Jack Montague and Mark Lawrence Jr. grew up together playing golf at Hermitage Country Club outside of Richmond, then became collegiate rivals, with Lawrence first heading to Virginia Tech and Montague later enrolling at Virginia.
On Saturday, the Hoo bested the Hokie in the first hole of sudden-death, as Montague’s par on the 18th hole was enough to clam the Delta Dental State Open of Virginia on Saturday at Ballyhack Golf Club.
Montague made up a five-stroke deficit to second-round leaders Scott Shingler and Josh Speight by shooting a final-round 66. Lawrence, who was three back going into the third and final round, was three out.
Montague, 20, became the first amatuer to win the State Open title in eight years after he tapped in for par just moments after barely missing a birdie attempt that would have clinched the title right away.
Instead, the crown was awarded to the UVa sophomore when Lawrence was unable to convert his par attempt.
“This is awesome, definitely the biggest win of my career so far,” Montague said to the VSGA after the event. “Especially after my first day, shooting 2 over, to come back Friday and Saturday and play as well as I did, it’s awesome.”
The last amateur to claim the Farmington Trophy was Virginia Beach’s Roger Newsom in 2011.
Lawrence, who redshirted this past year at Tech but plans to complete his final year of eligibility with the Hokies in 2019-20, just missed at being the guy to end that streak for the second time in four tries — he also lost in a playoff on 2016.
“It sucks to lose, but I couldn’t be happier for Jack,” Lawrence said. “He’s a great dude, and I’m so happy he could get this win.”
Montague fought an uphill battle for the last 36 holes after opening with a 74.
He played on Saturday with Liberty University golfer Isaac Simmons of Huddleston, and the two set the tone for the day by going on a birdie binge. Simmons birdied the first four holes; Montague four of the first five. Both quickly worked themselves back into the title hunt.
“Isaac and I are really close friends, and we play with each other a lot outside of [competitive events],” Montague said. “To get off to the starts that we did, it was fun. I was definitely feeding off him, for sure. He was close on every hole. It’s a lot easier to play when you’re seeing good shots from your playing partners.”
Montague had a bogey on the par-5 10th hole, but added three more birdies on the back nine to take the lead into the clubhouse at 10 under par.
Speight was still in control after 12 holes at 12 under, but three bogeys and four misses on makable birdie putts did him in.
“I just misread every single putt out there on the back nine,” Speight said. “I had good putts on every hole, but I just misread every one of them.”
Shingler had chances to join the playoff as well. He missed a short birdie putt on 17 and about an 18-foot birdie chance on 18, leaving him stalled at 9 under.
In the playoff, Montague hit the fairway with his drive, while Lawrence pushed a driving iron off the tee into the grassy hillside. His second shot ended up near a bunker short of the green.
While Montague’s missed birdie gave Lawrence a little bit of life, he was unable to knock in his 15-foot par putt to force a second playoff hole.
“It’s a big confidence booster for sure,” Montague said. “I feel like I’ve been pretty close to playing good golf a couple of times this summer. It’s just been a few things here or there. This week, it all kind of came together. It just shows me that I can compete. I’m real excited about it.”