Tour Good Guy Frank Adams III Claims Fifth Career Title
Director of Golf of Carolina Lakes Craig Malone and Champion Frank Adams III
By Stewart Moore
Indian Land, SC – August 21 – It had been a long four and a half years since Frank Adams III claimed his last eGolf Professional Tour title. An original member of the tour from 2002, Adams had seen countless peers come and go. He watched some retire and some earn their PGA TOUR cards. Current and past players alike, anyone checking the scoreboard on Friday at the South Charlotte Classic was without a doubt pulling for Adams. Ever the nice guy that players enjoy playing with, Adams did not disappoint. With a final-round 68 and his fifth career title, the never-say-die kid from Laurinburg, NC proved once again that he is one of the best players on tour.
Adams began the final round at Carolina Lakes Golf Club with a one-shot lead over Martin Catalioto of Ramsey, NJ. For Adams, holding the lead easily conjured up memories of the Spring Creek Championship in June, when a final-round 76 quickly erased any chance of victory after carrying the 54-hole lead into that event's final round.
"Charlottesville (Spring Creek) definitely helped," said Adams. "I felt a little more calm (today) than I did that day. It was good to get it going early."
Adams certainly got going early. Playing in the final pairing with Catalioto and Derek Watson, Adams came out swinging with birdies at Nos. 3, 5 and 8 to get to 16-under for the event after nine holes, in charge of a three-shot lead over Wes Homan and a four-shot lead over Watson, Reid Edstrom and recent winner Billy Horschel.
How do you step on it when you're trying to pull away? You hit it to a foot on the par-4 10th to get to 17-under and increase your lead.
How do you give it right back? You card back-to-back bogeys at 11 and 12.
"I stuck it in there on 10, but for some reason, I made a God-awful swing on No. 11 and made bogey, then I actually bogeyed 12 – so all of a sudden, I've got two bogeys in a row," said Adams, suddenly conscious of the fact that this tournament no longer featured a runaway winner.
As Adams was bogeying 11 and 12, Homan was making birdie at 13 to pull within one and Horschel was on a tear at 7-under through 14 holes, pulling himself to within one as well. Edstrom, playing three groups ahead of Adams, was in the process of birdying 15 to get to 14-under too. Out of nowhere a golf tournament was created.
Reflecting on the new situation presented, Adams drew on his Spring Creek experience and new there was plenty of golf left to be played, especially on the very next hole.
"I knew I was still in the lead and that I had a par-5 coming up and if I hit a good drive, I had a good chance of making birdie," said Adams, referring to the dogleg par-5 13th. "I was real proud of the way I handled that."
A birdie at the 13th, thanks to an up-and-down from 50 yards, gave Adams a nice two-shot cushion over the three guys chasing him. But they helped as well.
Horschel hit the proverbial wall at the watery par-3 16th with a double-bogey that ended his tournament chances.
Edstrom? Bogeys on 16 and 17 quickly stalled a charge for the former Auburn Tiger and took him back down to 12-under, where he would finish.
Homan didn't exactly take the gas, but he also didn't make up any ground. Pars from Nos. 14 through 18 kept him at 14-under, and with Adams feeling at ease again, he never got any closer.
"My lead went down to one, but fortunately I got up-and-down for birdie on 13, had a really good two-putt on 14, birdied 15 and had a great two-putt birdie on 17. Standing on the 18th tee, I just had to make sure I didn't have a train wreck," said Adams. "It was nice having that luxury coming in."
A closing par at No. 18 gave Adams his first title since 2005, and more importantly, the self-confidence needed to feel he is still a force on tour.
"It has been a while. We've had so many good players come in, and it has really raised the bar," said Adams. "Sometimes it's easy to feel like you're getting hit from all sides, with such good players coming out and playing."
Adams, who comes from a sports family with brother Russ a current member of the Toronto Blue Jays and brother Stewart a former football player at Appalachian State, is hopeful that the win is just a sign of things to come.
"We're going on almost five years for me since my last win. I've been close a number of times, but have not been able to close the deal," said Adams, who now resides in Salisbury, NC after growing up in Laurinburg. "Hopefully this will open the floodgates."
Homan, a Cincinnati kid, locked up a career-best runner-up finish with his 14-under 201 effort. The $19,000 payday was the largest of his career as well.
Horschel, Watson and long-hitting Jason Kokrak each tied for third and earned $11,166 for their work. Kokrak, playing well ahead of the leaders, birdied the final two holes to sneak into the top five.
After signing his scorecard, Adams was seen wandering around the clubhouse on the phone. When asked who he was speaking to, a slightly choked up Adams grinned and talked of family.
"I was talking to my dad, and he was talking to my brothers. It was nice to be able to make that phone call."
- Special thanks goes to Carolina Lakes Head Golf Professional Craig Malone, Assistant Golf Professional Doug Howard, Cedarwood General Manager Maury Clodfelter, Head Golf Professional Adam Szoke and their respective staffs for coordinating this event and hosting the tour and our players for the week. Thank you to Carolina Lakes Head Golf Course Superintendent Aaron Nolan, as well as Cedarwood Head Golf Course Superintendent Paul Query for their efforts in presenting two great venues.
- The tour heads back to Savannah, GA next week for the $250,000 Championship at Savannah Harbor, which will be contested at The Club at Savannah Harbor on August 26-29.