Sept. 4, 2007
MOBILE----Auburn senior golfer Steven Groover won the 74th
annual Labor Day Invitational Monday with a par on the second playoff
hole after firing an 8-under 66-70-69--205 at the Country Club of
Groover had to get up and down on the 54th and final hole of
regulation from 80 yards to force the playoff. The Birmingham, Ala.,
native made a five-foot par putt on the second playoff hole to defeat
Alabama State Amateur Champion Garrett Osborn, who will turn pro later
this month in a PGA Tour Q-School pre-qualifying tournament. Osborn
missed a four-footer for par.
"This is my first amateur win, and I am really excited,"
said Groover. "I played some really good golf over the weekend, and I
learned a lot about myself. This is the first time that I finished the
job after being close for so many times. It gives me a lot of
confidence going into the season."
On the 54th hole of the tournament, Groover and Osborn were tied
for the lead, one shot ahead of UAB senior Kyle Sapp, who had made
birdie on the hole before. Groover hit his tee shot into the fairway
bunker, and his approach shot landed well short of the green. Sapp hit
his approach onto the green while Osborn was 20-feet away on the
Groover then hit his next shot from 80 yards out to within two
feet of the hole.
"That was a huge shot," said Groover. "There was a lot of
pressure on me and to come up with a shot like that is very rewarding.
It wasn"t a pretty par, but I took it."
Osborn and Sapp both missed their birdie putts and settled for
par, setting up the two-man playoff on the 10th and 18th holes. Both
Groover and Osborn parred the 10th hole before setting up the 18th hole
drama. This is the 11th different Labor Day Invitational Championship
by nine Auburn golfers since 1982.
Groover and Auburn open the collegiate golf season at the Carpet
Capital Collegiate Sept. 14-16 at the Farm Golf Club in Dalton, Ga.