O'Toole Wins Spirit of America Amateur|
July 6, 2014
University of Cincinnati senior John Michael O'Toole (Pinson, Ala./Pinson Valley High School/Central Alabama CC) won the individual title Sunday at the Spirit of America Golf Classic at the Burning Tree Country Club in Decatur, Alabama.
O'Toole teamed up with fellow Bearcat sophomore Jared O'Kelley (Canton, Ga./Creekview High School) to win the three-round Collegiate Team Division crown on Saturday.
O'Toole won the four-round individual title after recording a 10-under par 71-68-65-70=274 to finish three strokes ahead of Forrest Gamble of Ole Miss (7-under 68-72-67-70=277) and unattached Matt Goureot (7-under 70-69-68-70=277).
"I was able to make three birdies on the back nine on Saturday when I shot a 65 and that really vaulted me to the lead," O'Toole said. "Today I had to battle my nerves but relied on my short game to hold on to win."
O'Kelley shot a 4-under 68-68-72-72=280 to tie UAB's Lee Hodges (69-75-70-66=280) for seventh place in the four-round individual competition.
The Collegiate Team Division champions were determined by the combined total score of the two team members for 54 holes. O'Toole and O'Kelley won the event with a combined 14-under 139-150-138=412, 15 strokes ahead of Gamble and Connor Davis (1-over 139-150-138=427) from Ole Miss.
"It feels pretty good to team up with Jared and get the team win," O'Toole said. "There were a lot of good programs playing in this event - Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, UAB. We played pretty well. We felt we did a good job representing our school and hopefully, started turning some heads in the golf world."
The Spirit of America Golf Classic strives to attract the top 150 amateur golf players in the nation. For winning the individual championship, O'Toole earns a berth in a future Hooters' Tour event.
The victory for O'Toole continues his strong showing in summer competitions. He also won the Greystone Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama on June 22 and finished third in Alabama State Amateur on June 8.