There was a noticeable and understandable change in demeanor when Jonathan Brightwell walked off the 18th green at Snee Farm Country Club for the second time Saturday.
Brightwell managed to survive a stressful final round by birdieing the first hole of sudden death to defeat Garrett Wood and win the 46th annual Rice Planters Amateur golf tournament after the two tied at 13-under-par 275.
Wood, who trailed by three shots going into Saturday's final 18 holes, managed to chase down Brightwell with a closing 4-under-par 68 to Brightwell's 1-under 71 in what turned out to be a two-man race.
"It was stressful," said Brightwell, a rising junior at UNC Greensboro from Charlotte. "I didn't play well and Garrett played great. This is a wonderful feeling. There are a lot of good players on that trophy."
Wood caught up to Brightwell on the 10th hole, making birdies at 1, 4, 9 and 10, while Brightwell was making two birdies (5 and 8) and a bogey (6) over that same stretch.
A bogey on the par-3 11th dropped Wood back a stroke, but after matching pars and bogeys over the next two holes, Brightwell regained the lead with a birdie on the par-5 16th.
Brightwell struggled with his tee shot on the back nine, hitting it left on 14, 15, 16 and 18, with the latter proving costly. He was forced to lay up and bogeyed, making a 4-footer to send the tournament into sudden death.
But Brightwell managed to find the fairway on the playoff hole while Wood's tee shot veered sharply to the left. Wood hit a great recovery just to get the ball onto the green, but Brightwell's approach stopped to about 6 feet and he made the putt to win after Wood missed his birdie try.
"I played pretty great all week," Brightwell said, although he couldn't explain what happened with his tee shots coming down the stretch. "I usually cut the ball. But I made some great par putts today."
Wood, a rising sophomore at Xavier University, said the turning point was a couple of missed short putts on 11, where he made bogey, and 12, where he made par.
"I fought back," Wood said. "But there was nothing I could do. It's not bad to lose to a birdie."
Rice Planters Amateur
*Jonathan Brightwell 68-68-68-71—275
Garrett Wood 68-68-71-68—275
Nathan Barbieri 71-74-68-66—279
William Holcomb V 71-69-71-68—279
Jack Murdoch 71-72-68-69—280
Davis Lamb 69-70-70-71—280
Jake Milanowski 74-68-71-68—281
Gen Nagai 70-71-70-70—281
Zach Mclain 70-72-73-67—282
Geuntae Kim 77-69-69-70—285
Andrew Spiegler 72-72-70-71—285
Luis Ruiz 72-72-69-72—285
Qi Wen Wong 76-71-70-69—286
Matthew Finger 69-75-70-72—286
Charlie Nikitas 72-69-72-73—286
Andrew Richards 73-69-71-73—286
Austin Fulton 69-72-77-69—287
Chris Yeom 70-72-75-70—287
Laken Hinton 75-73-68-71—287
Ryan Marter 75-70-71-71—287
Jack Parrott 71-71-73-72—287
Connor Burgess 71-72-70-74—287
Kyle MacDonald 71-70-74-73—288
Justin Hood 70-70-75-73—288
Christian Salzer 69-73-70-76—288
McClure Thompson 71-71-70-76—288
Hunter Wolcott 74-73-70-72—289
Jamie Wilson 72-73-71-73—289
Alex Burris 73-72-71-73—289
Issei Tanabe 71-71-77-71—290
Kengo Aoshima 71-71-77-71—290
Evan Katz 73-74-72-71—290
Alex Weiss 71-79-68-72—290
Matt Shubley 75-72-73-72—292
Andrew Gibson 74-75-71-72—292
John Catanzaro 80-70-69-73—292
Jake Fox 73-76-69-74—292
John Lyras 73-69-76-74—292
Levi Moody 74-76-72-71—293
Ben Fernandez 73-73-74-73—293
Matt Lehman 73-76-71-73—293
Tripp French 70-74-73-76—293
Nathan Corchis 77-71-74-72—294
Stuart Fuller 75-73-74-72—294
Thomas Hogan 70-74-76-74—294
Johnson Holliday 74-74-72-74—294
Garrison Hogan 75-72-74-74—295
Taylor Schuster 75-75-72-74—296
Nick Costello 75-77-70-74—296
Pete Kuhl 75-74-72-75—296
Carey Bina 75-71-73-77—296
Christian Anderson 70-76-76-75—297
Juan Iturra 79-70-71-77—297
Jared Chinn 75-73-74-76—298
Christian Baliker 71-74-75-78—298
Ethan Willis 75-76-71-77—299
Andrew Sciarretta 75-72-74-78—299
Adam Walker 77-72-73-DQ
*won with birdie on first playoff hole