May 4—Cameron Biddle's putter was so hot Monday that he even made the putts that didn't count.
Biddle, a South Aiken sophomore, repeated as Region 5-AAAA champion with a round of 68 at The Aiken Golf Club.
"My putting was on. I didn't really miss anything outside of 10 feet," said Biddle, who also won region two years ago at Woodside as an eighth-grader. "I was draining everything inside of 10 feet. Saved a lot of pars, made a lot of birdies inside that range. That's what I had going today."
He proved his point during a sudden-death playoff that ultimately turned out to be unnecessary. He and North Augusta's Matthew Baxley headed back to the 18th tee to determine who would be the team champion, but as they were preparing to hit their bunker shots it was discovered that scores had been miscalculated and the teams actually weren't tied.
Biddle rolled in a long putt anyway, but he didn't need to. Mitchell McNeill's 77 turned out to be a 78, meaning South Aiken had won the region title by the narrowest of margins — 304 to 305.
"It feels great. That playoff was pretty fun. Didn't need it, of course," Biddle said. "It feels great to get both the individual and the team title today going into the hardest stretch of golf during the high school season."
Biddle knew he'd need to make some birdies if he wanted to retain his title — last year's region golf championship was one of many events canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic — and it was definitely on his mind coming down the stretch.
He made birdies on the three par-5s — Nos. 2, 10 and 13 — and added one on the par-4 eighth hole. He finished five shots clear of Baxley.
Baxley, Aiken High's Richard Anaclerio (74), North Augusta's Davis Neal (77) and Brendan Tigert (77), and South Aiken's Colson McNulty (78) and Jake Shuford (78) and McNeill all joined Biddle on the all-region team.
South Aiken counted those three all-region scores plus an 80 from Miles Eubanks, and that total was just enough for the T-Breds.
"Great performance by Cam," said first-year South Aiken head coach Dane Burkhart, who in 2002 was the medalist while leading the T-Breds to the Region 3-AAAA title. "Some of the other guys struggled a little bit today, but they've been trending in the right direction so hopefully we can start putting four good scores together going into the postseason.
"This is a good one for them to finally win a tournament this year. Smaller field or not, a win's a win. I'm looking forward to going into state. Everybody's been playing good at certain times throughout the year, so now's the time to put it all together."
Aiken finished third in the team race at 330, counting Anaclerio's 74, Tucker Crenshaw's 81, Luke Hanna's 87 and Zion Sampson's 88.
Midland Valley was fourth at 368 with an 82 from Jake Pifer, an 86 from Dustin Hegler, a 95 from Trever Williams and a 105 from Wyatt Thomas.
Airport finished fifth at 482.
Up next is the Class AAAA Lower State qualifier, scheduled for next Monday at the Country Club of South Carolina in Florence. South Aiken, North Augusta and Aiken all advanced because their region tournament scores were 350 or less. Midland Valley's Pifer earned a spot as an individual by shooting 85 or less.
This year's Class AAAA state championship tournament is May 17-18 at Dolphin Head Golf Club on Hilton Head Island.
Region 5-AAAA Golf Scores
at The Aiken Golf Club
Cameron Biddle, South Aiken 68
Matthew Baxley, North Augusta 73
Richard Anaclerio, Aiken 74
Davis Neal, North Augusta 77
Brendan Tigert, North Augusta 77
Colson McNulty, South Aiken 78
Jake Shuford, South Aiken 78
Mitchell McNeill, North Augusta 78
Trey Stallings, North Augusta 79
Miles Eubanks, South Aiken 80
Tucker Crenshaw, Aiken 81
Jake Pifer, Midland Valley 82
Dustin Hegler, Midland Valley 86
Luke Hanna, Aiken 87
Zion Sampson, Aiken 88
Tucker Samaha, Aiken 88
Trever Williams, Midland Valley 95
Wyatt Thomas, Midland Valley 105
Seth Poovey, Airport 111
Alex Perry, Airport 118
Robert Marciarello, Midland Valley 120
Will Zueger, Airport 124
Foster Barrs, Airport 129
Phoenix Amick, Airport 131
South Aiken 304
North Augusta 305
Midland Valley 368