WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) - Greenbrier resort owner Jim Justice wanted to reward the winner of the West Virginia Amateur with an exemption to a PGA Tour event being held at the resort next month. It turns out the recipient is a resort employee.
Jonathan Bartlett overcame a five-stroke deficit over the final eight holes to win the tournament and earn a spot in the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic.
Bartlett shot a 1-under-par 69 Thursday for a one-stroke victory over two-time defending champion Tim Fisher on The Greenbrier resort's Old White Course.
Jonathan Bartlett shot a 1-under 69 to win the West Virginia Amateur. With the win, Bartlett earns a spot in the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic next month.
It's the same course where Bartlett will play in the Greenbrier Classic next month. Bartlett is a real estate salesman at The Greenbrier's Sporting Club where he started working more than three years ago.
"It's a dream come true," said Bartlett, 28. "It didn't look good early on through 10 holes. I just hit good shots and as good a player as Tim is, the next thing you know it's a horse race. I was just lucky enough to come out on top."
The exemption played a part in his determination.
W.Va. Amateur scores
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) - Final results from the West Virginia Amateur at The Greenbrier resort. The first and third rounds were played on the par-72 Greenbrier Course and the second and fourth rounds were played on the par-70 Old White Course:
Jonathan Bartlett, Lewisburg71-70-68-69-278
Tim Fisher, Statts Mills72-66-69-72-279
Christian Brand, Charleston74-70-70-68-282
Trent Roush, Mason71-75-68-70-284
Michael Veres, Logan71-75-68-71-285
Bosten Miller, Charleston70-69-70-77-286
Hop White, Hurricane74-70-70-73-287
J.R Jones, Washington74-74-73-70-291
Bryan Myers, Wheeling72-73-72-75-292
Ryan Mason, Bridgeport78-69-74-73-294
C. Schambach, Glen Dale68-74-75-77-294
Scott Bibbee, Vienna72-77-76-70-295
Chuck Ingram, Sheperdstown77-74-76-70-297
Anthony Reale, Charleston72-74-78-73-297
Joey Seabright, Wheeling75-73-74-75-297
Trent Schambach, Glen Dale73-72-74-78-297
Brandon Watkins, W.Sul. Sprgs79-71-67-80-297
Michael Mays, Lester78-73-70-77-298
Craig McGlothlin, Huntington74-78-74-73-299
Ian Hogue, Clarksburg69-77-75-78-299
Will Johnson, Charleston73-73-72-81-299
Jeff Estep, Bridgeport77-73-76-74-300
Steve Fox, Huntington78-72-76-74-300
Jeremy Rogers, Buckhannon73-78-73-76-300
Dustin Cutlip, Marlinton74-75-73-79-301
Chandler Beavers, Princeton79-71-74-78-302
Michael Hines, Lindside74-78-70-80-302
Evan Muscari, Pineville75-77-73-78-303
Tad Tomblin, Alum Creek76-74-75-79-304
Harold Payne, Hurricane73-79-75-78-305
Sam O'Dell, Hurricane76-76-74-79-305
Brian Anania, Hurricane73-75-79-79-306
Anthony Zappin, Huntington76-73-79-78-306
Chris Eckhardt, Morgantown80-71-79-77-307
David Dent, W.Sul. Sprgs76-74-79-80-309
Samuel Booth, Hurricane73-79-77-81-310
Jim Grimmett, Davin79-73-84-75-311
Justen Holstein, Hurricane79-71-79-85-314
Marty Maret, St Albans73-75-82-85-315
Pete Kurelac III, Moundsville 77-71-80-87-315
"There's no doubt about it," Bartlett said. "To win the tournament would have been fantastic. To win the tournament and get a sponsor's exemption, it took it up many levels."
He's definitely taking an odd path to the PGA Tour.
The Lewisburg resident and Ocala, Fla., native played golf college at Mississippi. He's a reinstated amateur in his first competitive tournament in six years after a stint on two mini-tours in the South.
"God works in mysteriously ways," Bartlett said. "I wanted to be on the PGA tour from age 10 and a half. It just didn't work out for me with back injuries and I wasn't good enough."
He is, now - at least for one tournament.
Bartlett finished 6 under. Fisher made four bogeys over a seven-hole stretch, shot 2-over 72 and finished at 5 under.
Marshall golfer Christian Brand had three birdies on the back nine and was at 2 under. His third-place showing was his best ever. Mason's Trent Roush was fourth and Logan's Michael Veres fifth.
It was a shocking end to the tournament that Fisher appeared to have well in hand.
Fisher started the day two shots ahead of Bartlett and Marshall golfer Bosten Miller.
Miller fell out of contention with two double bogeys and three bogeys over the first 11 holes.
He shot 7 over for his round and finished sixth.
Fisher climbed to 9 under after a birdie on No. 10 with Bartlett at 4 under.
"I was looking for birdies," Bartlett said. "I left so many putts short this week. The way Tim was playing, I didn't think he was going to mess up a whole lot."
Bartlett birdied the par-4 11th and 14th holes while Fisher quickly lost his touch. Back-to-back bogeys by Fisher on the par-4 16th and par-5 17th gave Bartlett his first lead of the tournament.