BRASELTON — Justin Connelly of McDonough fired a two-under-par 69 in the final round on Sunday to capture the Georgia Public Links Championship.
The 32nd playing of the 36-hole championship was conducted at Chateau Elan Golf Club’s Chateau Course.
With the win, Connelly joins Georgia Golf Hall of Famer Allen Doyle and Rick Cloninger as the only players to win both the Georgia Amateur Championship and Georgia Public Links Championship.
Connelly, the 2017 Georgia Amateur champion, began the day three strokes back of the lead after an opening even-par 71 on Saturday. The former Union Grove High standout mustered eight pars and a bogey on his front nine to stay in contention, and he turned on the heat on his back nine.
Connelly birdied the par-4 10th hole on the Chateau Course and continued to make clutch putts down the stretch to move up to the top of the leaderboard. Up-and-downs for par on the par-4 13th and par-4 14th kept Connelly at even-par for the championship and gave him a great chance to clinch the title with a strong finish. He did not disappoint.
A birdie on the par-5 15th put Connelly at 1-under-par total and gave him the lead late in the day in the third-to-last group. After rolling in a par putt on the par-3 16th, Connelly came up clutch again with a birdie on the par-4 17th to move one step closer to the trophy.
Connelly, who played golf at Georgia College and Mercer, found the green in regulation on the par-4 18th and two-putted to finish three strokes clear of the field.
Tyler McKeever of Atlanta (74-69) tied Connelly with the low round of the day at 2-under-par 69 to finish in a tie for second along with Matt Clayton of Snellville (73-70) at 1-over-par 143 for the championship. Mark Buchholz of Woodstock (72-72) and Daniel Candler (68-76) rounded out the top five at 2-over-par 144.