Whitby wins Delaware Amateur for third straight year

Jay Whitby

MILFORD — Each time Jay Whitby wins the DSGA Delaware Amateur golf title, he manages to make more and more history.

On Wednesday, Whitby achieved a pair of milestones when he won the tournament in spectacular fashion.

Whitby won the Delaware Amateur Championship thanks to a furious rally on the back-nine at The Rookery North Golf Club in Milford for his third championship in as many years. It is the fourth title all-time for the 30-year-old Wyoming native.

It is the first time a golfer won three-straight Amateur Championships since former Dover High standout Chris Wisler, who won three in a row from 1999-2001.

Whitby (Wild Quail Golf & Country Club) also become just the third player to win four career Amateur Championships since the tournament started in 1952. He tied Ellis Taylor, who won four titles between 1953 and 1963, for second all-time trailing just Blaise Giroso, who has 10 titles.

Giroso, Wisler and now Whitby, a Caesar Rodney High product, are the only golfers to achieve the three-peat.

But with nine holes to go, Whitby looked destined for second-place on Wednesday.

He trailed leader Jeff Whiteside (White Clay Creek County Club) by five strokes. Whitby was able to turn that deficit into a three-stroke margin of victory by the 18th hole.

He began the back-nine with a bogey on the 10th hole, but still gained a stroke when Whiteside double-bogeyed. Whitby then pulled within two of Whiteside when he parred back-to-back holes before birdieing No. 13 while Whiteside had two pars and a bogey on those three holes.

Whitby took the lead for good after he parred the 14th hole and Whiteside shot a triple-bogey.

Whitby extended the advantage with a pair of birdies and two pars over the final four holes. He ended the tournament at 2-under par for the tournament, the only player to be under par.

Whitby shot even-par in the final round, rebounding from a tough opening nine holes where he was 2-over par after he double-bogeyed the eighth hole.

Whitby, who played collegiate golf at University of Arkansas-Little Rock, also won this event in 2006 to go along with his titles from 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Reed Winkler, a sophomore at St. Joseph’s University, and Greg Wolfe finished tied for third while Chris Smedley, Bob Bechtold and Peter Barron, who narrowly defeated Whitby in last year’s Delaware Open, were all tied for fifth.

Another player Wild Quail golfer, Tim Freeh finished 10th, his final round was highlighted by a hole-in-one on the ninth hole.

This year’s Delaware Open is scheduled for Aug. 7-8 at Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club in Ocean View. Whitby won the Delaware Open back in 2013.

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