Greyson Leach comes from behind to capture Inland Empire Championship
The only thing hotter than the weather over this past Labor Day weekend was Greyson Leach’s play in the final round of the 54-hole Inland Empire Amateur Championship, where temperatures reached as high as 117 degrees during the September 5-7 tournament.
Starting the day two shots back of the lead, Leach fired a tournament-low round of 8-under-par 64 at Victoria Club in Riverside to win the title by a shot over Chanachon Chokprajakchat of Anaheim.
Leach, who plays out of Rolling Hills Country Club near the Palos Verdes Peninsula, opened with a 69 at Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont and followed it up with a 66 at Goose Creek Golf Club in Mira Loma, culminating a three-day total of 16-under-par, 199.
“The key to winning the championship was just having confidence that I can play at or above the level of the players in the field,” said Leach, who recently committed to play at the University of Oregon. “For the last four or five months, I have been working on my proximity to the hole on approach shots between 120 and 250 yards because I was seeing a big margin between where my ball was and where my competitors were.”
Leach developed a passion for golf long ago. He first picked up a club at the age of 2 when he was introduced to the game by his father, who he’d sit with and watch PGA Tour events on television. He has since acquired a thirst for competition along with a motto that he says fits his game perfectly: Golf strong and go long.
The 17-year-old Peninsula High School standout noted that the Inland Empire Amateur was the second time in recent competition where he felt he was firing on all cylinders and confident with all the hard work he’d been putting in.
“I know it’s going to elevate my game to new heights and give me the best chances I have of pursuing my dream of playing on the PGA Tour,” Leach said. “I’m still playing in many amateur and junior events and I’m excited to see where my game takes me in my last year of golf before college.”
Leach’s stellar play has certainly caught the attention of the PGA staff at Rolling Hills Country Club, where he is the three-time defending RHCC Junior Club Champion.
“He’s just a great player,” said Robert Krasemann, a PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Rolling Hills Country Club. “Greyson has a lot of tournament experience, and his ball striking is on another planet. The way he swings the club and makes contact with the ball is probably better than anyone at the Club – adults and golf professionals included. That’s what really sets him apart.”
This was the 28th playing of the Inland Empire Amateur Championship and featured a field of 168 competitors. CLICK HERE to view the full leaderboard.
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