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Addison Beam
Addison Beam finished in a tie for fourth place on the individual leaderboard.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State’s Beam Wins Surf Club Invitational

When he rolled a putt into the cup at the 18th hole for the first time Tuesday, App State’s Addison Beam dropped his putter and clenched his fists as he yelled excitedly while turning toward a cheering audience of supporters.

A much shorter putt on the return trip to No. 18 at the Surf Golf and Beach Club — a tap-in par on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff — triggered different emotions, with Beam hugging his parents just beyond the green.

Beam’s clutch play enabled him to win the individual title at the Surf Club Invitational hosted by App State this week. The Mountaineers took third in the 18-team field, finishing one shot behind runner-up Radford, as Beam matched 36-hole leader Ray Dennehy from team champion UConn with a 10-under total of 203 thanks to rounds of 68, 67 and 68.

It was App State’s first individual title since Jake Lane medaled in back-to-back events during the 2021 fall. The Mountaineers’ last seven individual medalist honors had occurred in fall events, with their last spring title coming from Caleb Keck in 2013.

Colin Browning’s closing 66 put him in the top 10 at a tie for eighth place, and Herman Huus shot a final-round 69.

Alex Martin also had an under-par round during the event for the Mountaineers’ primary five-man group, while Josh Buxbaum, Rob Bergevin and Jack Seward each had a 1-under 70 during their 54-hole appearances with a second App State group that had the 11th-best team score. Aidan Browning, who used a pair of 71s to tie Buxbaum for 35th overall, and Cole Bergheim also had even-par rounds in North Myrtle Beach.

Beam officially trailed by two shots Tuesday after UConn’s Dennehy made a long birdie putt on the par-5 17th hole. Beam hit a solid shot from the tee box to the back half of the green on the 170-yard 18th and drained his 20-foot birdie putt after Dennehy came up several feet short on a long, lagging birdie attempt. Dennehy missed his par attempt, leaving both players at 10 under, but the stakes weren’t completely clear at that point.

A late four-hole stretch played at 5 under by Long Island’s Lewis Wright (who had started his round on the fourth hole) made him jump to the top of the leaderboard at 11 under, but an incorrect score had been posted from within his group on the unofficial live scoring platform very early in the round. One early par was actually a double-bogey on his official card, unbeknownst to the actual leaders, meaning he ended up in third at 9 under.

When that was confirmed, Beam and Dennehy returned to the 18th tee box. Dennehy came up several feet short on a longer, lagging birdie putt, and Beam’s birdie putt from near the back fringe rolled at a perfect speed within inches of the cup. After his tap-in par, Dennehy missed his par attempt.

Beam produced several critical makes during the final round.

His mid-range par putt on the seventh hole circled the cup before dropping in, and a bogey from Dennehy left the two golfers in the lead foursome tied at 8 under.

Dennehy recorded birdies at the 11th and 13th holes to lead by two strokes, but Beam answered with birdie at No. 14 and stayed one shot back when his testy par putt at No. 16 dropped on the last rotation of the ball.

That set up the back-and-forth finish, with another dramatic answer from Beam at a timely moment.

The Mountaineers return to action March 28-30 at The Goodwin, a prestigious event hosted by Stanford at TPC Harding Park, home to the 2020 PGA Championship.