Patient Patterson wins playoff for South Carolina Open title

John Patterson raised his putter high in celebration, lifting the stick that many times earlier in his round he might have wanted to toss in the marsh.

The Bluffton resident and professional turned amateur outlasted Patrick Rada to win the South Carolina Open on the third playoff hole at Belfair Plantation's West Course. Patterson's 25-foot birdie putt on No. 18 dropped after the flatstick failed him late in the final round.

"I tried to be patient all day," said the 42-year-old Patterson, competing in the Open for the first time as an amateur. "I hit a lot of good shots today, nothing went in."

Patterson shot a final-round 72 for a 4-under-par 212 total. Rada, who led after the first two rounds, made bogey on the final hole to shoot 73 and drop into the playoff.

Bluffton's David Rogers, a professional at Secession Golf Club in Beaufort, fired a 5-under 67 Thursday, the low round of the tournament, to jump into a tie for seventh at 1-under. Fellow Bluffton resident Ben Dietrich also finished 1-under.

Until a brief stretch on the back nine Thursday, Patterson's solid ballstriking had gone unrewarded. He rattled the flagstick on the 208-yard, par-3 eighth but missed the 7-foot birdie putt.

He finally hit it close enough to take putter out of the equation, making a 3-foot birdie on No. 14 and on the next hole chasing his approach from 228 yards off mulch to within 2 feet for another birdie.

"I knew something had to happen," Patterson said. "I didn't think even par would get it done. At the end, it was good enough."

Patterson said after a 4-under 68 Wednesday he was playing the best golf of his life. He will compete in the S.C. Amateur and gets the U.S. Mid Amateur qualifier at Chechessee Creek Club, his employer.

The 25-year-old Rada, an assistant professional out of Wilmington, N.C., looking for victory after a strong finish in 2012, couldn't shake his up-and-down round. He offset five birdies with six bogeys. After matching Patterson's birdie on 15, Rada made bogey his final two holes, failing to get up and down while Patterson tried to give him the title.

"I just never could really get a lead," said Rada, who earned $3,300 as the top professional. "And obviously a disappointing bogey on 18 in regulation. But he played well."

Three-putt bogeys on 16 and 17 didn't throw Patterson. And a missed 5-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole did not cost him.

On the second playoff hole, he made an 8-foot putt to save par after Rada dropped his long par putt to apply pressure. And after Rada chipped close to save par the third time down 18, Patterson poured his putt in the middle of the cup.

"That's always the difference out here is the putter," Patterson said. "My speed was off all day. The greens were rolling perfect, the green speeds were great, just my speed was bad with the putter. I just tried to be patient, hang in there and see what happens."


Thursday, at Belfair Plantation's West Course, Bluffton; Par 72; 7,111 yards; (a-amateur)

Final Round

*Won on third playoff hole

*John Patterson (a) 72-68-72-212

Patrick Rada 69-70-73--212

Aaron Black 70-73-70--213

Robert Register 72-70-71--213

Rick Morton 75-69-70--214

Al Dickens IV 72-71-71--214

David Rogers 78-70-67--215

Steve Isley 73-71-71--215

Ben Dietrich 73-70-72--215

Tim Straub 74-72-70--216

Brock Elder 78-69-69--216

Adam Lescalleet 74-71-71--216

J.D. Hoft (a) 74-70-72--216

Spencer Lawson (a) 70-70-76--216

Scott Hunter 74-71-72--217

Mike Townsend 74-72-72--218

Jeff Avant 74-71-73--218

Burke Cromer 72-73-73--218

Mike Lawrence 74-71-73--218

Zach Seabolt (a) 76-74-68--218

Julian Bland 76-68-74--218

Greg Boyette 73-70-75--218

Eerik Kauppinen 75-73-71--219

Jeff Wong (a) 76-71-72--219

Andrew Decker (a) 79-71-69--219

Eric Reeves 79-71-69--219

Tom Logue 74-73-73--220

Matt Bova 75-70-75--220

Ray Franz 76-75-69--220

Luke McClellan 78-70-73--221

Charles Frost 78-70-73--221

Todd Eckstein (a) 77-70-74--221

Ryan Tyndall 74-74-73--221

Cory Schneider 75-74-72--221

Matthew Yelverton (a) 76-70-75--221

Robert Linville 77-72-72 --221

Chris Tucker 74-75-72--221

Billy Anderson 76-74-71--221

Jeffrey Peck 74-69-78--221

John Faidley 77-72-73--222

Chris Haarlow 74-72-76--222

Brian Joyce 75-75-72--222

Steve Larick 73-70-79--222

Reeves Zaytoun (a) 75-73-75--223

Preston Cole (a) 74-73-76--223

Paul Dickens 78-71-74--223

Kurtis Luedtke (a) 71-79-73--223

Jeff Hull 77-72-75--224

Tee Opperman (a) 72-77-75--224

Nick Eberhardt (a) 77-73-74--224

Mark Tomedolskey 75-75-74--224

Thomas Lilly (a) 73-73-79--225

Brian Stewart 79-69-78--226

Hayden Ploeger (a) 74-75-78--227

Troy Beaver (a) 78-73-76--227

Chris Cox (a) 79-72-77--228

Trey Howell 79-72-77--228

Andrew Bryce 78-73-78--229

Barry Pierce 74-77-78--229

Kirk Mitchell (a) 76-73-81--230

Wilson Day (a) 77-74-80--231

Kurt Thompson 73-78-86--237