Coloradan Davis Bryant overcomes 5-stroke deficit on final day to repeat as Southwestern Amateur champion
By Gary Baines – 6/17/2023
When a golfer had last won back-to-back titles in the Southwestern Amateur, Davis Bryant was still more than a decade from being born.
But on Saturday, in improbable fashion, Bryant ended the repeat “drought” in the event.
The golfer from Aurora, who just wrapped up his college career at Colorado State, successfully defended his Southwest Am title at the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“It is an honor to win the Southwestern Amateur in back-to-back fashion,” Bryant said in a text. “… Desert Mountain is a world-class venue and I am grateful to be the champion this year.”
Repeating as champ is a significant feat unto itself in a big-time regional tournament, but the way the former CGA Player of the Year did it added to the accomplishment.
Bryant started the final round of the 72-hole event five strokes behind leader Luke Haskew of Baton Rouge, a golfer at Louisiana State.
That’s a big ask to overcome such a deficit in one round of a high-level tournament, but Bryant did it by shooting a 6-under-par 66 while Haskew posted a 72 after previously carding scores of 62-68-65.
Bryant, a former boys player of the year in Colorado and the winner of the 2019 CGA Amateur, carded seven birdies — including one on the 18th hole — on Saturday to go along with a single bogey. He went 65-67-68-66 for a 22-under-par total for the week.
That’s the lowest score, relative to par, at the Southwestern Amateur since Stephen Carney finished at 26 under in 2011 in El Paso, Texas. The tournament has been held at a variety of courses over its 108 years. This time around, Bryant recorded 26 birdies over 72 holes.
The battle for the title became a two-man affair as the third-place golfers finished six back of Bryant. In all, 72 players competed in the men’s tournament this year.
The victory made the player from Green Valley Ranch Golf Club the first back-to-back champ at the Southwestern Amateur since Scott Frisch won three straight from 1987 to ’89.
“Today, I knew I needed to shoot at least 67 to have a chance against Luke and was able to get one lower with a 66,” Bryant said. “I knew he was going to come out firing and fortunately I was able to make quite a few putts today and put some pressure on him. We had a good battle out there and the golf course was in great shape all week. I am super thrilled with my mental game this week and am excited for the remaining tournaments I have set up for the summer.”
Bryant also needed to rally to capture the Southwestern title last year as he came back from a three-stroke deficit entering the final round.
Winners of the Southwestern Amateur include the likes of Craig Stadler (1975), Jay Haas (1976), Mark O’Meara (1980), Corey Pavin (1981), Ryan Palmer (1999), Nick Watney (2002) and J.T. Poston (2013). Also winning the event was then-University of Colorado golfer Scott Petersen in 1992.
For the scores from the 2023 Southwestern Amateur, CLICK HERE.
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com