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June 10, 2023

Tyler Watts becomes youngest Alabama Men’s Am winner

By Gregg Dewalt, Alabama Golf News Editor
Tyler Watts

He won't graduate H.S. until 2026

The only thing that would have prevented Huntsville’s Tyler Watts from winning the 107th Alabama State Amateur Championship Saturday was himself.

He went to bed Friday night with a seven-shot lead and 18 holes to play, and all he needed to do was stay out of his own way to win his first state amateur title at the ripe old age of 15.

That’s exactly what happened, too. Watts, a Grissom High School student who won’t graduate until 2026, eased his way around with a final-round 72 to win by four shots over Hoover’s Carter Goodwin and Decatur’s Ryley Heath.

Watts is now the youngest winner in Alabama State Amateur history, breaking Gordon Sargent’s record. Sargent, now one of the top amateurs in the world ranking, was 17 years old when he won the 2020 championship at Saugahatchee Country Club.

Tyler Watts: ‘It’s an honor to win’

Watts shot rounds of 67-62-66-72 to finish at 13-under 167 on the par 70 Country Club of Mobile course. He was one shot off the lead after the first round before seizing control with his second-round 62. His third-round 66 left the rest of the field playing for second place.

“I think I finished pretty well,” said Watts. “No. 9 through No. 11 were tough stretches for me, but I got it done. It’s an honor to win.”

Watts was coming off a runner-up finish to Tennessee’s Blade Brown in the AJGA tournament at the RTJ Golf Trail at Hampton Cove. He finished the three-round tournament at 12-under par. He also finished eighth in the AHSAA Class 7A boys championship while playing as an individual.

Goodwin started the final day 10 shots back but had one of two 66s to take second place on a match of scorecards with Heath, who shot 69 in the final round.

Milbrook’s Josiah Gilbert finished alone in fourth place at 274.

Gregg Dewalt is the editor of Alabama Golf News

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Featured image of Tyler Watts courtesy of the Alabama Golf Association

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