• Wes Kerr

Griz can’t hold off Clanton for Azalea crown

There’s no doubt that Hilton Head’s Jonathan Griz is ready for the college stage, and he proved it again with an excellent performance in Charleston this weekend.


Griz nearly came home with the trophy with a 2-under 211, but Luke Clanton’s red-hot play down the stretch handed the Lowco star a T2 finish Sunday at the 2022 Azalea Invitational at the Country Club of Charleston. Griz finished third in the prestigious amateur event a year ago.


After a 68 and 74 put Griz two strokes behind Clanton heading into Sunday’s final round, the University of Alabama commit found his groove with a scorching-hot 5-under 31 on the front nine to take a four-shot advantage at the turn.


Griz was inconsistent on the back nine all week, and he ran into trouble again with bogeys on three of the first five holes. He responded with steady golf though the final four, but a dialed-in Clanton raced back in front with a trio of clutch birdies to steal the title and send Griz into a tie for second with Kyle De Beer.


It was still an encouraging weekend for Griz, who will wrap up an exceptional junior career this summer before turning his attention to college golf as a member of the Crimson Tide.


Griz ascended the ranks in 2020 by capturing the South Carolina Amateur at the age of 16 and kept the momentum going with an outstanding run to the quarterfinals at the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur, one of six top-10 tournament finishes across the year.


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