MOUNT PLEASANT - The second-best feeling Rigel Fernandes experienced Saturday at the Rice Planters Amateur at Snee Farm Country Club was a celebratory cooler of ice and water being dumped on him by friends as he headed to sign his scorecard.

With temperatures in the mid-90s, the ice water bath felt great. But the best feeling for the 17-year-old rising sophomore at the University of South Florida was knowing that he could six-putt the final green and still walk away with the victory.

Instead of a six-putt, Fernandes dropped in a 10-foot birdie for a closing 67 and a seven-stroke win over Mount Pleasant's Andrew Novak, who also had a final-round 67. Fernandes finished the tournament at 17-under-par 271, three strokes off the 72-hole scoring record. And while there was no official word, his seven-shot margin undoubtedly was one of the largest, if not the largest, in the tournament's 42-year history.

Charleston Southern golfer Ross Thomson was the only other player who could snag some of the limelight from Fernandes, shooting an 8-under-par 64 to jump into a tie for eighth at 282 with Bucs teammate Jarrett Swan and Zhongyang Fu.

"I did what I said I wanted to do yesterday, made aggressive swings to conservative targets," said Fernandes, who was born in India, grew up in Dubai and has been in the U.S. for 10 years. He attended the famous IMG Golf Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

"I know that on this course someone could go out and shoot a low number. I didn't think that I had it won until my caddy told me on 16 that the nearest player was 9-under. I birdied 16 to go up by 17."

Fernandes wasn't perfect Saturday, making two bogeys (1 and 11), but he followed each of the bogeys with a birdie and made a total of seven birdies in the final round. He made 24 birdies for the week and only seven bogeys.

Novak, who just completed his freshman season at Wofford, said he knew catching Fernandes was close to impossible.

"Only if he wanted to come back to the field," Novak explained. "My plan was to go out and put a good number up and have fun. It was really fun. I played with a great group of guys."

Fernandes also thought the event was fun and said he hopes to return to defend his title.

"This place is great," Fernandes said. "It was my first time here but I had a lot of fun."

Final scores

Rigel Fernandes 65-67-72-67-271

Andrew Novak 71-69-71-67-278

Daniel Pizetoski 71-70-71-68-280

Rhyne Jones 70-69-72-69-280

Tom Swanson 72-73-68-68-281

Jon Weiss 74-70-67-70-281

Travis Smyth 70-76-67-72-281

Ross Thomson 70-72-76-64-282

Jarrett Swan 71-71-70-70-282

Zhongyang Fu 70-70-69-73-282

Zac Stolz 74-70-68-71-283

Ryan Cole 70-68-72-73-283

Brandon Jelley 74-72-69-69-284

J.D. Lehman 70-71-71-72-284

Austin Morrison 72-74-69-70-285

Daniel Chian 70-71-74-70-285

Jeremy Grab 70-73-70-72-285

Dru Love 75-70-66-74-285

William Rainey 72-74-71-69-286

William Betts 70-69-76-71-286

Mason Seaborn 72-71-72-71-286

Jamie Wilson 72-71-70-73-286

Davis Womble 68-73-77-69-287

Tanner Owen 70-74-72-71-287

Connor Sock 71-71-72-73-287

Andy Simmons 73-73-76-67-289

Scotty Verplank 72-73-76-68-289

Davis Morrison 71-73-75-70-289

Shawn Tsai 76-72-69-72-289

Al Dickens IV 73-72-71-73-289

Carter Page 66-71-77-76-290

Matt Laydon 71-77-71-72-291

Will Pieper 72-75-71-73-291

Dong-Jun Kim 77-72-71-72-292

Eric Hallberg 73-74-73-72-292

Alec Tahy 69-71-77-75-292

Jackson Moore 77-71-73-73-293

Johnson Holliday 71-72-75-75-293

Brad Thorne 69-76-72-76-293

Spencer Reed 75-74-71-74-294

Drew Johnson 77-70-72-75-294

Caleb Sibley 69-74-74-78-295

Jared Freeman 72-74-70-79-295

Joshua Fickes 72-77-74-73-296

Philip Oweida 76-73-73-74-296

Meechai Padungsiriseth 74-71-76-75-296

Cameron Brown 69-73-77-77-296

Cory Sciupider 71-70-78-77-296

Matthew Rushton 73-78-72-74-297

Colby Hipp 74-72-76-75-297

Chris Karlovich 74-69-73-81-297

Daniel Luftspring 72-75-76-75-298

Eddie Waida 73-75-72-78-298

Carson Schaake 73-72-77-77-299

Rob Bovender 78-70-74-82-304

Mike Lund 77-72-74-NS