Lawrence Notches First Professional Tournament Win
Shelby, N.C. – Former USC Upstate golfer Michael Lawrence fired a 5-under-par 67 to win his first tournament as a professional at the RiverBend event on the Carolina Mountain Tour Monday afternoon.
Lawrence, who finished his eligibility at Upstate last spring, turned pro in May and played his first tournament in the River Falls event on the Carolina Mountain Tour later that month, finishing second. This time, however, he used strong play on the par-5s and hit the ball with consistency to take home the top prize. He won the tournament by one stroke over recent Furman graduate Garland Ferrell.
"I played a solid round and hit the ball really well," said Lawrence. "I could have been a lot lower if I would have made some putts. After a steady start I made eagle on the first par-5 on the front to get me going. I hit a lot of greens on the front and I gave myself some opportunities, but I just couldn't make any putts."
Lawrence was solid throughout his round and when he did get into trouble, managed to get out of trouble without posting any high numbers. His approach shot to the par-4 12th went long and landed in pine straw. He was able to get up and down for par to stay at 4-under. He birdied the 17th on a 12-footer down the hill to finish at 5-under. He played the par-5s at 4-under-par.
"It feels really good (to win his first professional tournament)," said Lawrence. "I have been working really hard. I played well in my first tournament and then struggled a little bit. I spent time with my dad and worked really hard on my game. It feels great that it worked out today. It's a confidence boost just to know that I can do it."
Lawrence plans on playing several more events this summer on various mini-tours on the Carolina Mountain and Hooters Tours with the hopes of securing an exemption in a couple of Nationwide Tour events in September.