PALM CITY, FL (November 6, 2016) -- The end of the Rhode Island golf season is on the horizon for New Englander Bobby Leopold but he will certainly carry some momentum into the offseason. Leopold used a final day surge to finish 3-under and win the prestigious Crane Cup at the Floridian Golf Club.
"Winning local stuff is great and it gets you going but winning a big event like this is far and beyond and to win against this field lets me know that I can compete and play against these guys and maybe this will lead to bigger and better things next year. So definitely this is the biggest one that I have won so far," Leopold said.
The three-time Rhode Island Mid-Amateur winner started the final round even-par and two off the pace before rallying to win with a 3-under 68. Leopold began his Sunday rally with a momentum building birdie on the opening hole.
However, the most crucial moment of the round came on the par-3 4th. Leopold, playing in the Crane Cup for the first time, hit his tee shot into the hazard and was forced to take a drop. Staring at a likely bogey Leopold was able to chip in for an unlikely par.
From that moment on Leopold played steady golf birdieing five times overall and bogeying twice. His final birdie came on the par-4 penultimate hole. Playing at 370 yards, Leopold left himself with an approach of just 88 yards which he knocked to five-feet setting up the birdie.
A bogey ensued on the difficult 18th but the birdie a hole earlier had provided the necessary cushion.
"I haven't played in the Crane Cup before and (tournament director) Kevin (Marsh) was always telling me to come down and play if I wanted and I don't know what came over me but I was playing well this year and I guess I wanted to extend my season a bit so I emailed him," said Leopold. "This will probably be it until the Terra Cotta next year but you never know what something like this might bring."
Dennis Bull and Ed Fryatt were the only two other players to finish under-par as they shared second at 1-under. One shot further back in a tie for fourth was 36-hole leader Gene Elliot and Rob Couture at even-par.
First round leader and recent U.S. Mid-Amateur winner Steward Hagestad ended up in a seventh place tie. Hagestad opened with a 7-under 64 before sliding to 3-over.