DAHLONEGA— Former Georgia Tech golfer Daniel Bowden of Easley, S.C. carded a final round 6-under-par 64 to win U.S. Amateur Qualifier No. 2 at Achasta Golf Course in Dahlonega on Tuesday.
Bowden, who now plays golf for Furman University, was tied for fourth at 4-under after the first day of competition, but surged ahead Tuesday with a brilliant round to finish the tournament at 10-under, three strokes ahead of University of Georgia golfer Harris English and mid-amateur Michael Morrison of Roswell.
Bowden called the win “a dream come true.”
“Heading into the final round, I knew I was going to have to go low,” he said. “With the guys that are playing in this and the way the course is set up.
“I got off to a good start, birdied No. 2, No. 3 No. 5 and then finished the front at 4-under. I knew I was in pretty good position at that point.”
The clincher for Bowden came on No. 14. The 540-yard, par-5 is set up for eagle opportunities, and Bowden took advantage.
“I capped it off with the eagle on the back,” he said. “I made about a 35-foot putt to get to 6-under and at that point I knew if I just played solid then I would get in.
“I was just trying for no bogeys and that’s what I got.”
First-round leader Franco Castro of Alpharetta, an incoming freshman at LSU, played even-par on Tuesday after carding 6-under on Day 1. The round was good enough to finish in a tie for fifth with Taylor Smith of Mansfield at 6-under.
The top five finishers in the tournament qualify for the 110th U.S. Amateur Championship, which will be held Aug. 23-29 at Chambers Bay golf course in University Place, Wash.
Alan Fowler, a graduate of North Hall, was tied for 13th after day 1 at 1-under, but four bogeys in his final eight holes Tuesday pushed him to 4-over for the day and tied for 23rd at 2-over for the tournament.
“I hit the ball good, I just didn’t make putts,” Fowler said. “I had five or six loop-outs on the day.”
Fowler won’t compete again until he returns to Georgia State and begins his collegiate schedule in September.