Dorn finishes strong to win Ohio Amateur

CANTON, Ohio (AP) – Coastal Carolina University’s golf team had a little competition between the players this past season: Whoever had the best final four holes in each tournament was the winner.

Andrew Dorn brought that little game to the Ohio Amateur on Friday.

Dorn trailed by as many as three shots early, then overtook Michael Bernard on the 14th hole before adding clinching birdies on the two closing holes to etch his name on the same trophy that includes Arnold Palmer, John Cook, Ben Curtis and Frank Stranahan.

“I take pride in the last four holes,” the West Chester native said after capping a 2-over-par 73 that left him with a two-stroke victory at Brookside Country Club. “I really tried to focus even harder than I had all day on the last four holes, especially knowing how close it was going to be.”

Dorn trailed Bernard, the 2010 winner of the Ohio Am and an Ohio State sophomore, by three shots after the seventh hole. He pulled even with a par on the 11th hole and took the lead by rolling in a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 14th.

Clinging to a one-shot lead, he gave himself some breathing room by birdieing the final holes. He blasted out of a greenside bunker to 6 feet and hit the putt at 17, then pounded a 3-iron to reach the green in two shots at 18 before taking two putts, the last from 2 feet.

Dorn, who will be a junior with the Chanticleers this fall, followed rounds of 66 and 69 to finish at 5-under 208.

He didn’t come into the day trying to be a birdie machine. With the course drying out after heavy rains that shortened the tournament from 72 to 54 holes, and with treacherous pin placements all over the place, he knew he’d have to play for par and pick his spots to go for anything better.

“I was just trying to hang in there,” the former Moeller High School player said. “I knew scores were going to be higher today, with the pin locations and the course in general. It got harder as the tournament went on. I just figured if I could just hang in there, and with two par 5s to finish, no matter what, even if I was a couple of shots back I could easily make that up on the last two. I had to keep myself calm and stay patient out there because birdies were pretty rare.”

There were only two subpar rounds and one even-par score of the 65 competitors on Friday.

West Union’s Corey Richmond, the leader after the first round with a 63 and co-leader heading into the final 18 holes, sagged to a 76 and was tied for second with Akron’s Dan Belden (71).