Just one hour after Boca Raton native Dean Greyserman had finished the round of his life, he stepped up to the 18th tee again. This time, he was facing off against Nicholas Gabrelcik in a playoff for the 103rd Amateur title.
Greyserman survived that playoff and was crowned the Amateur champion on Dec. 20 at Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto.
He posted a final-round 62 to capture the championship at 10-under 278. The 17-year-old became the first junior golfer to win the Amateur since Sam Horsfield in 2013.
“It means a lot,” Greyserman said. “It’s my first time playing in this event, but I know how much history it has. I know how many good players have won this tournament and I know I am one of the youngest to win it. It was such a good field this week, so it means a lot to win. It shows me how good I am.”
Teeing off about an hour before the final group, Greyserman started the day at even par and nine shots back of the leaders. He put together a trio of birdies on Nos. 5-7 to move to 3 under for the day. Then he eagled the par-5 ninth hole to make the turn at 5 under.
“After nine, I saw that I was still four or five back,” Greyserman said. “I still wasn’t really thinking that I was in it. I just kept plugging along, hoping for a miracle or something.”
He kept it going on the back side, making birdie on two of the first three to head to the quarry holes at 7 under, three shots back of the leaders. Greyserman made it to the green in two on the 14th and two-putted for another birdie.
The Stanford University commit had a big up and down to save par on the 15th. He rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th to move to 9 under, one shot back of Gabrelcik.
Greyserman hit his second shot on 18th left of the green, but got up and down for birdie to post a final-round 62 and take the clubhouse lead at 10-under 278.
Greyserman’s final-round 62 set the course record on the Quarry Course, breaking the mark of past Amateur champion and FSGA Hall of Fame member Doug LaCrosse (63).
Gabrelcik, who began the day two shots back of Michael Mays, rattled off three birdies to start the final round and take the solo lead at 10 under. After playing the next 10 holes at even par, Gabrelcik birdied No. 14 to take a one-shot lead over Greyserman.
He ran into some trouble on No. 16, finishing with a bogey. The University of North Florida freshman then hit his tee shot left on the par-3 17th and was forced to take an unplayable. Gabrelcik finished the hole with another bogey and headed to the 18th tee at 9 under and one shot back of Greyserman.
Gabrelcik went for the green in two and sank a 10-foot birdie putt to force a playoff. The two headed back to the 18th. Greyserman hit his tee shot left onto the 10th fairway, but a great second shot put him short of the green.
After Gabrelcik had missed his birdie putt, Greyserman rolled in a short birdie to secure the championship.
This is Greyserman’s second FSGA championship. He won the Boys’ Junior title last year at Streamsong.
“When I was on the back nine, just having that experience of playing under pressure helped a lot,” Greyserman said. “It helped knowing how to play when I am in contention and the tournament is on the line.”