This golfer pulled off quite the busy week in winning South Carolina Mid-Amateur

·4 min read

Imagine this: Qualifying for match play in the U.S. Mid-Amateur, knocking off three opponents, walking to the 18th tee in the quarterfinals with an opportunity to take down the tournament favorite, a journey from Massachusetts to South Carolina that included a two-hour ferry trip, a lengthy Uber ride to the airport, the flight, arriving home at 11 p.m. after a two-hour drive, teeing off the next day in another high-profile championship and charging from behind to triumph.

Exhausting to think about. Improbable to consider. Almost a “believe it or not” scenario.

Yet, that’s the itinerary for Christian Sease a couple of weeks ago that amounted to what he calls “an incredible week” and an “awesome experience.” And that’s without mentioning a couple of side plots.

Sease grew up in Mount Pleasant, fell in love with golf at the Country Club of Charleston, played at Wando High and Winthrop University, tried his hand at the pro game before regaining his amateur status and now lives in Greenville.

He’s no stranger to success; he won the Carolinas Amateur in 2016. But to compete at such a high level in the U.S. Mid-Amateur and immediately win the South Carolina Mid-Amateur is heady stuff.

Two factors make the achievement more special: His dad Tim caddied for him — all of the 106 competitive holes in five days plus practice rounds — in the U.S. Mid-Amateur in Nantucket, Massachusetts. And he shot 65-64 on the weekend to win the South Carolina Mid-Amateur at Greenville’s Green Valley Country Club.

“Pretty amazing,” Sease said in recounting his U.S. Mid-Amateur quarterfinal final duel against Stewart Hagestad. “We got to No. 10 and all the other matches had ended. We looked around and we were the only ones of the course.”

The battle arrived at the 18th hole with Hagestad 1-up. Sease went for broke, but his tee ball found a bunker, and Hagestad, the eventual champion prevailed 2-up.

Sease headed home the next day, Thursday, Sept. 30, and finally got to Greenville about 11 p.m. after the ferry trip, Uber ride, flight from Providence, Rhode Island to Charlotte and the drive down Interstate 85.

He teed off the next day at 1:44 p.m. in the South Carolina Mid-Am. Fortunately, he is a member at Green Valley and required no familiarization with the course. He opened with an even-par 72 before his 65-64 finish.

“I’ve had some hot streaks, but the quality of play in back-to-back weeks was pretty amazing,” he said. “I kept the good mojo from Nantucket in the State Mid-Am and played really well the last two days.”

In overcoming a six-shot deficit in the final round, he sizzled at the start, going 6-under-par after eight holes and added two more birdies on the back nine.

Overall, that’s 160 competitive holes in nine days. Little wonder, Sease said, “It was hard to go to work Monday morning.”

He comes from a golfing family. His dad introduced him to the game, and he and twin brother Chandler spent hours at the CC of Charleston in their youth. Christian credits Hart Brown, director of golf at the club, and Ricky Sullivan, now pro at Bulls Bay, with developing his game.

There’s more to the story, of course.

Christian Sease’s exhilarating nine days puts him in position to follow older cousin Jordan Sease in earning the South Carolina Golf Association’s player of the year award. And that would give former Winthrop golfers the state’s top individual prize for the third straight year, thanks to Kyle Bearden’s 2020 triumph.

Finally, there is this: “My girlfriend (Ashley Sloup) qualified for match play in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur (at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton) that was being played at the same time,” Christian Sease said. “I couldn’t go and watch or caddie for her.”

They met during their days at Winthrop and their lives revolve around golf. Sloup earned All-Big South honors in college and is now assistant men’s golf coach at Campbell University.

“It’s great to have a girlfriend who plays the game at such a high level,” Sease said.

Imagine that.

Chip shots. Junior Jack Wall tired for third individually, leading the South Carolina men to a share of fifth place in the Isleworth Collegiate tourney in Windermere, Florida. ... After finishing second in three rounds of stroke play to qualify for the championship match, the Gamecocks’ women dropped a 4-1 decision to LSU in the Jackson T. Stephens Cup in Roland, Arkansas. ... Ivy Shepherd and Melena Barrienios tied for third individually and sparked Clemson’s women to a second-place team finish in the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. ... Walter Odiorne (Blythewood) captured the SCGA’s Harry Wilson Super Senior Championship for golfers ages 65-69 at Florence CC. Mike Weiner (Kiawah Island) won the Legends division for players 70 and older.

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