Beaufort High's Josh Fickes wins Southern Cross

The Aiken StandardMay 4, 2014 

Beaufort High's Josh Fickes hits his tee shot on No. 16 at Palmetto Golf Club during the first playoff hole of the Southern Cross.


AIKEN -- The Southern Cross team title might've been won by an easy margin on Saturday, but the individual medalist honor could only be handed out after a playoff.

With Cannon School of Concord, N.C., having won the event by 11 strokes over South Aiken, the Thoroughbreds' Jake Carter (68-72--140), a sophomore, was tied with Beaufort High senior Josh Fickes (67-73--140) at 4 under after 36 holes of regulation.

They went to Palmetto Golf Club's par-3 16th hole, where Fickes made par to take home the victory.

Fickes, who will play at Clemson in the fall, called the win "bittersweet" because his team and coach couldn't be there to see it.

"Any time you win, it feels great, especially out here -- one of my favorite courses ever," said Fickes, who plans to be back for the Palmetto Amateur on June 4 through 7.

Both golfers missed the green, with Fickes' ball winding up just left of the green. Carter's ball ran off the green back left after looking like it might stay on the putting surface.

"I thought I hit a good shot and just got a bad break," he said.

Carter played first on the second shot and ran his chip across the green and off the other side, just past where Fickes was waiting to play.

Still out, Carter pitched up to about 3 feet, leaving Fickes with some margin for error.

He putted even though he was off the green and left himself with about a 4-foot par putt, which he drained.

In regulation during Saturday's round, Fickes made such poor contact with his tee shot on the 16th hole that his club came out of his hand. That time around, he missed a 15-foot par putt and settled for bogey.

He was obviously much more pleased with the result of his playoff attempt, even if his tee shot still wasn't ideal.

"Didn't really hit a great shot but a lot better outcome," Fickes said.

While Fickes might be the newest Southern Cross champion in attendance on Saturday, he wasn't the only one on the grounds at Palmetto. Tony Nimmer won the event in 1979 while at Thomas Heyward Academy, and he was following his son, Bryson, during the second round.

The younger Nimmer, playing for Hilton Head Christian Academy, carded a pair of 74s to finish in 10th place in a tournament with "a lot of tradition," according to his father.

"It's really a reward," Tony Nimmer said. "He's playing at a lot higher level than I was at his age. ... It's a real treat."

Nimmer's Christian teammate Trace Crowe (68-74--142) finished in fourth to lead the Eagles to a third-place team finish (223-230--453), 13 shots back.

Matt Lehman shot 82-82--164 and Jonathan Schuble shot 81-85--166.

Top 5 Teams

1. Cannon School 213-227--440

2. South Aiken 226-225--451

3. Hilton Head Christian 223-230--453

4. Christ School 220-235--455

5. Greenville 232-226--458

Top 5 Individuals

*-won on one-hole playoff

1. Josh Fickes, Beaufort 67-73--140*

2. Jake Carter, South Aiken 68-72--140

3. Anthony Perrino, Cannon School 69-72--141

4. Trace Crowe, Hilton Head Christian 68-74--142

5. Keenan Huskey, Greenville 72-71--143

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