Maybe now College of Charleston junior William Rainey will be known for something besides a trick shot that gathered more than 4 million views on his Vine account. Rainey used a golf club to hit a football through a basketball goal from about 30 yards. Nothing but net.
Saturday, Rainey was just as solid, hitting the shot he needed most in a playoff to beat Clemson’s Austin Langdale and win the 43rd Rice Planters Amateur at Snee Farm Country Club.
Rainey hit his approach shot on the playoff hole, No. 18 at Snee Farm, to four feet. Langdale had hit his approach shot long, then ran his birdie try well past the hole, giving Rainey the luxury of two-putting if needed. But Rainey drained the putt for the win.
The two entered the final round tied for the lead and both posted 70s for a 270 total, 18 under par for the tournament and four shots clear of third-place finishers Hayden Wood, Will Long and Bryson Nimmer.
“I was nervous. I just tried to stick to my game plan. I knew I hit it pretty close,” Rainey said. “(Winning) means a lot. This is one tournament I look forward to every year.”
Rainey said he had been in one other playoff, losing the 2014 Carolinas Amateur on the second extra hole to Carter Jenkins.
“I was thinking go out and shoot 68 and if I get beat I get beat. But have fun,” Rainey said.
Neither Rainey nor Langdale were able to get any momentum going until the final few holes. Langdale had one birdie on the front nine, while Rainey made two birdies and a bogey.
Langdale took a one-stroke advantage with a birdie on 13, but gave it back with a bogey on 15. Both players birdied the par-5 16th. Rainey grabbed the lead with a two-putt par on 17 after Langdale was unable to get up and down and save par.
Knowing he needed to make a birdie on 18 in regulation to force a playoff, Langdale did just that with a booming drive and an approach inside four feet. But another birdie was not to be, and Rainey was able to hoist the winner’s trophy.
*-William Rainey 65-66-69-70—270
Austin Langdale 68-65-67-70—270
Hayden Wood 67-69-71-67—274
Will Long 75-72-67-70—274
Bryson Nimmer 70-65-71-68—274
R.J. Keur 65-68-72-71—276
Andrew Novak 68-70-75-73—276
Jake McBride 68-67-73-69—277
David Mackey 72-63-73-70—278
Jake Marriott 68-68-70-72—278
Will Grimmer 66-72-69-71—278
Parks Brown 72-72-69-66—279
Austin James 71-72-69-67—279
Jack Williams 71-68-69-71—279
Keenan Huskey 70-70-67-72—279
Ryan Cole 72-69-67-72—280
Cameron MacKay 65-70-75-71—281
Sebastian Smith 70-69-71-71—281
Tommy Schofield 70-75-69-68—282
Christian Salzer 73-67-73-69—282
Nate Yankovich 71-68-71-72—282
Maverick Antcliff 68-71-69-74—282
Evan Grenus 73-65-75-70—283
Carson Young 72-69-70-72—283
Travis Williamson 74-64-71-74—283
Alastair Tidcombe 74-71-70-69—284
Matthew Lisk 70-70-72-72—284
Taylor Davis 76-71-68-70—285
Andy Chu 74-69-72-71—286
Josh Lorenzetti 71-72-70-73—286
Hale Furey 69-68-76-73—286
Johnny Decker 69-70-74-73—286
Eddie Wajda III 70-71-71-74—286
Michael Monroe 71-71-70-74—286
Harrison Shih 70-66-77-74—287
Scott Verplank 77-66-70-74—287
Christopher DeMarco 75-66-69-77—287
Will Betts 70-74-71-73—288
Will Miles 71-72-71-74—288
Nick Tremps 77-73-69-70—289
Trace Crowe 72-77-69-71—289
Ben Dietrich 75-68-74-72—289
Will Voetsch 75-70-71-73—289
Joe Lewis 74-68-71-76—289
Matthew Mahle 73-74-72-72—291
Noah Edmondson 74-76-69-74—293
Ethan Willis 74-69-75-75—293
Jackson Moore 75-72-71-75—293
Ridge Purcell 70-74-73-76—293
Meechai Padungsiriseth 77-69-73-75—294
Al Dickens IV 72-74-73-76—295
Jarrett Swan 75-71-73-76—295
Christian Sease 77-71-71-77—296
Austin Morrison 73-72-74-78—297
Zachary Bishop 78-68-73-80—299
Ryan Stachler 73-75-71-80—299
Rohan Ramnath 75-70-71-WD
*-won on first playoff hole