Jolly Good Time
Stewart Jolly wins Biggs Golf Classic for first professional victory
Former LSU golfer shot -15 for the tournament
By Malcolm Shields
Sunday, May 26, 2019
HERTFORD — Stewart Jolly shot 4-under-par 67 during the third and final round of the 2019 Biggs Golf Classic to win the tournament Saturday afternoon on the Sound Golf Links at Albemarle Plantation.
Jolly shot 15-under-par for the tournament to edge Joshua Brock, who finished tied for second with Carson Young at -13.
Young along with Isaiah Logue and Kelby Burton had strong final rounds as they shot 5-under-par 66 Saturday.
Logue finished the tournament tied for sixth place at -9, while Burton finished tied for 13th at -7.
Ryan Sullivan was fourth at -11 and Charles Neel White III rounded out the top five at -10.
The win not only banks Jolly a payout of $15,000, but the former member of the Louisiana State University men's golf team earns the unrestricted sponsor’s exemption to play in the Web.com Tour’s Rex Hospital Open, which is coming up this week in Raleigh.
Instead of going through a qualifying round to earn a spot in the tournament, Jolly will be in the field for the opening rounds in Raleigh due to the exemption.
According to Jolly, the win Saturday was his first as a professional golfer.
“I've had a bunch of chances the last few years and haven't gotten it done,” he said. “It feels really good to get this one.”
Jolly acknowledged that the difference for him to close out the final round and win the tournament Saturday is his improved mental toughness.
“I've worked really hard with a couple of different people on that and really stayed even-keeled out there,” Jolly said. “I really felt confident and stayed patient. I was very proud how mentally I handled the situation.”
Jolly began his final round with birdies on No. 3, No. 4, No. 8 and No. 9, but gave a shot back with a bogey on No. 6.
“I was really just trying to hit every shot the best I could and keep trucking after that,” Jolly said. “It was really nice to get some birdies early. I really played good [Saturday].”
He noted that the early birdies settled him down.
Jolly would then go seven consecutive holes posting a par.
“That's where I have gotten better mentally,” he said. “I really tried to stay patient. I was hitting good shots. I had a bunch of good looks. I just didn't get the putts to fall.”
During the stretch, Jolly had some tough par shots.
That included on the 14th hole, which is a par 3.
His tee shot landed just off the green in front of the hole.
After chipping onto the green, Jolly made a lengthy putt for par to remain at -14.
Jolly acknowledged that the par on 14 was huge.
“That kind of got me going again,” he said.
At that point, Brock, who was in the group of three ahead of Jolly's trio, was within a shot of Jolly at -13.
Brock had a chance to tie or surpass Jolly on the 17th hole, which is a par 5.
He was unable to make a long eagle or a manageable birdie attempt on the hole.
Brock, who shot 4-under-par 67 Saturday, had to settle for a par on 17.
Brock's round included an eagle on the par-4 eighth hole with birdies on No. 9 and No. 12.
Jolly didn't miss his opportunity on 17 as he was able to sink a birdie putt to go up by two shots.
“It was huge,” Jolly said of the birdie on 17. “I had a feeling that I was in good shape. I knew that if I could birdie 17, that would kind of be it. I hit a great drive, a great 5-iron to about 20 feet and two-putted. That really settled me down for 18.”
Jolly finished his round with a par on 18 to secure the championship.
The win was one of multiple recent milestones in Jolly's life.
In recent weeks, Jolly got married.
“Getting married was the greatest time of my life,” he said. “I love my wife and happy that she's my wife now.”
Jolly noted that he took time away from golf because of the honeymoon.
After the honeymoon, Jolly went back to work with his coach.
Coming in to the Biggs Classic, Jolly felt good about where his game was.
“I had a great week,” Jolly said.
After the final round of the tournament, Anna Biggs and Bruce Biggs awarded the annual Bruce Biggs East Carolina University scholarship to a senior at Perquimans County High School.
This year's recipient was Tony Cook.
Cook plans to major in political science at ECU.