England’s Gregory Eason played absolutely mistake-free golf Sunday afternoon to capture the biggest victory of his career by winning the South Beach International Amateur.
The fact that he was so steady throughout the final round at Miami Beach Golf Club made him smile.
“That’s unusual,” he said with a laugh.
“It certainly hasn’t always been that way,” he said of his even-keel round of 3-under-par 69. “Actually, it’s usually just the opposite. I’ve been trying to iron out the silly mistakes I usually make.”
Eason, from Leicester City in England and a UCF senior, finished with a 5-under 278 total for the four-day tournament to beat Bailey Patrick (68-280) of Charlotte, N.C., by two strokes. Tying for third at 282 were Virginia Tech’s Bryce Chalkley (72) and University of New Mexico’s Victor Perez (71).
After the awards ceremony, Eason was saying “Thanks, mate,” with his English accent to the numerous people who came up to congratulate him.
Eason moved from England to Florida on a friend’s recommendation.
“All I knew about Florida then,” he said, “was that it had nice weather.”
That was good enough for him, and he made the jump across the pond.
He had been studying construction and design in England, but Sunday’s result might have changed what his future profession might be. And construction and buildings are no longer a lock.
“It might be golf now, not construction,” Eason said. “After this tournament, the PGA Tour is probably the long-term goal.”
He said Sunday’s winds, and the windy conditions throughout the tournament, did not bother him.
“Of course they didn’t,” he said matter of factly, “I’m from England.”
But he’s certain of one place where he likes the weather — and the golf courses. And he intends to make it home.
“This is December and it’s a day like we had here for the final round,” he said. “Can you believe it? Florida is a no-brainer.”
Denmark’s Emily Pedersen carded a 3-under 69 (70-69—139) to take a three-shot lead over Megan Khang of Rockland, Mass. (72-70—142) in the Doral Publix Jr. Golf Classic at Trump National Doral. Pedersen will remain in the South Florida area to compete in the Junior Orange Bowl Championship and will be playing in the 2014 Women’s British Open as the winner of the European Championships.