Eckroat piles up 23 birdies in record-setting win at Scott Robertson Memorial

By Randy King

Following his career-low 8-under-par 63 Saturday at Roanoke Country Club, Austin Eckroat resisted a strong urge to dig in his golf bag for his smart phone and tell his buddies back in Edmond, Oklahoma.

"I didn’t want to tell anybody about how I was playing," Eckroat said. "I think my Dad did. But I didn’t want to start thinking about it too much."

Upon completing his three-day birdie fest in the 32nd Scott Robertson Memorial on Sunday with a tournament-record 16-under 54-hole total of 197, the 16-year-old couldn’t wait to start spreading the news.

"Now, I can because it’s over," the elated winner said with a huge grin. "Now, I can go tell everyone."

Will everybody believe him?

"Yeah, I hope so," he crowed.

Talk about some unbelievable stuff.

The high school hot-shot — he committed to play his college golf at longtime national powerhouse Oklahoma State as a freshman — put the finishing touches on his assault of RCC by firing a final-round 66 to produce a five-shot victory over runner-up Mason Greenberg of Southlake, Texas.

Eckroat took RCC by the throat, birdieing 23 of the 54 holes to break the division record of 201, held jointly by John Hahn (2007), Phillip Francis (2005) and current PGA Tour pro Jon Curran (2004).

"Twenty-three birdies, that’s a lot," he said. "All the putts were dropping except for one or two. It seemed like every putt was going in inside 15 or 20 feet today. Saturday was all tap-ins for birdie.

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