BLYTHEWOOD - Newberry College rising sophomore Jon Weiss (Sumter, S.C.) made a fantastic dark horse run from the 28th seed to the finals match of the 40th Annual South Carolina Amateur Match Play Championship before falling in a playoff hole to Matt Laydon of Charleston at the Cobblestone Park Golf Club on Sunday.
Weiss shot a 6-over 148 in the two qualifying rounds to qualify for the match play portion of the championship as the 28th seed, just one stroke ahead of the cut.
In the round of 32, Weiss won 3 & 2 over fifth-seed Todd White of Spartanburg before claiming a 2 & 1 victory over 12th-seeded John O'Brien of Columbia in the round of 16.
In the quarterfinals, he birdied the 18th hole to defeat 29th-seeded Ben Fogler of Elgin 1-up, in a match Weiss never led until the final hole. The drama for Weiss continued in the semifinals, where he once again birdied the 18th to take a 1-up win over 16th-seeded Parker Allen of Blythewood, never leading until the completion of the match.
In the championship match, Weiss faced off against 30th-seeded Laydon. Weiss chipped in twice from 20 feet for halves early on the front side yet found himself 2 down to Laydon after eight holes. Laydon then uncharacteristically missed consecutive 3 footers and the match was all square after 11.
A Laydon birdie on 13 put him one up and for the fourth time Weiss found himself 1 down with 2 to play. Weiss won the par three 17th when Laydon's tee shot backed 40 feet off the green leaving an impossible up and down to a hole cut just over a bunker. On the par five 18th both players hit fine third shots leaving Laydon with an 8 footer and Jon with 6 feet. After Laydon missed his birdie attempt it looked like Weiss was going to come from behind again but his putt broke off at the last second and it was on to extra holes.
On the first playoff hole Weiss hit his only bad drive of the day into the left trees. A pine cone directly in front of his ball that could not be moved caused his second shot to land in a bunker 40 yards short of the green. Laydon hit one of his better drives of the day and was left with 90 yards to the hole. His approach stopped about 20 feet below the hole. Weiss' bunker shot ended up just short of the green and his pitch was short. Laydon putted to within 2 feet and Weiss conceded Laydon's putt for the win.