University of North Carolina sophomore David Ford birdied the final hole to win the Jones Cup Invitational by one stroke over Tennessee freshman Caleb Surratt Sunday at the Ocean Forest Golf Club in Sea Island, Ga.
The Jones Cup is one of the top amateur tournaments in the world, featuring 16 of the top 50 players in the current World Amateur Golf Rankings. By virtue of winning, Ford earns an exemption into the 2023 RSM Classic, a PGA Tour event next fall at the Sea Island Golf Club.
Ford was in first place after all three days of the Jones Cup. He led by one shot after round one over UNC teammate Peter Fountain, who finished fourth today after a final round 1-under-par 71. Ford also led by two strokes after 36 holes, but fell behind Surratt by two strokes on the front side in today’s final round.
Surratt birdied the fifth and sixth holes Sunday to pull even and took a two-shot advantage over Ford when he made his third straight birdie on seven and Ford bogeyed the eighth hole.
Ford made consecutive birdies on 10 and 11 to draw even and parred 12 through 17 to head to the final hole even with Surratt at 11 under. On the 18th hole, a 479-yard par 4, Ford made a birdie 3 to win by a stroke at 12-under 204.
Surratt was runner-up at 11-under 205, Wake Forest’s Michael Brennan was third at 8 under and Fountain was fourth.
Ford shot 67-68-69, the only competitor in the field of 84 to shoot all three rounds in the 60s. He won the Stephens Cup at Seminole Golf Club and finished second twice and sixth in five collegiate starts in the fall for the Tar Heels.
The Peachtree Corners, Ga., native came into the Jones Cup No. 8 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Surratt is No. 12 and Brennan is 20th.
2022 NCAA champion Gordon Sargent of Vanderbilt, the No. 2-ranked player in the world, tied for sixth at 4 under, and Carolina’s Austin Greaser, No. 5 in the world, tied for 47th.
Fountain, the 2021 ACC champion and 2022 ACC runner-up, shot 68-71-71 to finish fourth.