GOLF: Arnaud cards final-round 63 to win S.C. tournament

Published 5:40 pm Sunday, May 20, 2018

Michael Arnaud became the third player from Southeast Texas to win a golf tournament in the last nine months Sunday in Greenville, South Carolina, and he did it in Tiger-esque fashion.

Trailing two players by a stroke after 54 holes in the BMW Pro-Am, Arnaud shot a blistering, seven-under-par 28 on the front nine to seize control, and never looked back. He signed off on a 63 over the par 71 Thornblade Club that left him at 27-under 257, five shots clear of his nearest challenger.

For Arnaud, who was signed up to play in an Adams Tour tournament in Muskogee, Oklahoma this week, it is a career-changing moment reeking of Divine intervention. He was a first alternate at the BMW, didn’t get into the field until Wednesday and had never seen two of the courses used in the

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He opened with a 69 on Thursday on the Preserve at Verdae, then scorched Thornblade Club with a 60 on Friday. A 65 Saturday at the Furman University course put him in position to win, and he responded to a pressure-packed situation by laying waste to everybody in his path.

Arnaud was one under through his first three holes, and trailing Bhavik Patel by three shots, when he unleashed a birdie, eagle, par, birdie, birdie, birdie run for the outgoing 28. He’d shot eight-under-27 on the same nine holes Friday, prompting the Tour to send out tweets verifying the

By winning, West Orange-Stark ex Arnaud joined the Port Neches-Groves duo of Chris Stroud and Andrew Landry as area players to win pro golf tournaments within the last year. Both Stroud and Landry won on the PGA Tour, but this victory opens the door to that tour for Arnaud.

With the $126,000 check he collected, he is projected to move to No. 13 on the money list. The top 25 on the money list at the end of the season get a promotion to the PGA Tour. Since he is now fully exempt into any tournament, Arnaud should not have any trouble finishing in the top 25.

The $126,000, by the way, is almost double the most money the 36-year-old Arnaud earned in his biggest season in golf. His high-water mark for earnings was $69,302 on the 2015 Tour. This year, however, he’d played in only one event and didn’t make the cut.

Arnaud’s Sunday stats belie the fact he was a player who should have been feeling considerable heat because of what was on the line. He averaged 313.5 yards off the tee, hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation and made an eagle, seven birdies and only one bogey.

About the only thing he didn’t accomplish was to shatter the Tour scoring record in relation to par. Stephen Jaeger owns that at minus 30.

Arnaud’s minus 27 was the fifth lowest in history