Incoming Freshman Davis Womble Wins The Scott Robertson Memorial
May 22, 2012
Courtesy of the Roanoke Times
By: Randy King
ROANOKE, Va. -- It all started with a phone call last week from Scott Robertson Memorial tournament administrator Debbie Ferguson.
Needing another contestant when a third exempt player for the featured boys 15-18 division field withdrew, Ferguson picked up the phone and called the High Point, N.C., home of Davis Womble.
"I love making those calls," Ferguson said. "I talked to his mother, Carol, and informed her there was an open spot for her son. She was so excited."
Well, the whole Womble clan is doubly excited now.
Making the most of what was basically a long-shot, last-minute opportunity, the 6-foot-6 Davis Womble stood tall over the 90-player field in Sunday's final round at Roanoke Country Club.
Coming up huge at crunch time, Womble converted a pair of sand saves on the 52nd and 53rd holes of the 54-hole event and captured what he called "his biggest win for sure" in the 29th Robertson.
"One of the greatest phone calls I've ever had," said Womble, who was quickly relayed the spectacular news from his mom. "Third alternate â? and now this! It's great!"
Joining Arizona's Philip Francis (2003 and 2005) as only the players ever to win the tournament's older and younger (14-and-under) titles, Womble fired a 2-under-par 69 to beat Ohio's Chad Merzbacher by two shots.
"I haven't played especially well in this tournament in the past years, so I understand in that situation what has to happen. Believe me, I was very thankful to get in," said Womble, 18, who won the younger class title in 2008.
It was far from a fluke. The towering string bean who can hit a golf ball a country mile is headed to perennial power Wake Forest on scholarship this fall. Womble joins former Wake standout Webb Simpson (2002) on the Robertson winners list. Those who follow the PGA Tour know how successful Mr. Simpson has been. He has won twice on pro golf's biggest tour, banking $9.9 million in earnings.
"It's a great name to follow," Womble said. "Plus, Kevin Na won this a couple of times. I'm excited. Maybe I'll follow in their footsteps one day. We'll see."
Womble wasn't going to follow anybody at RCC on Sunday. Tied with Merzbacher with three holes left, Womble saved par on the difficult 240-yard par-3 16th with a great bunker shot off a sideslope lie to 2 feet. The save thrust him into the lead when Merzbacher failed to get up and down from the rough behind the green.
On the par-5 17th, Womble pulverized his tee shot 300-plus yards, then put his 6-iron approach into a left-side green bunker. He blasted to about 5 feet and made birdie to take a two-shot lead to the final hole.
Playing smart on a hole that has plagued him in the past with its dangerous left-side out of bounds line, Womble intentionally smacked his tee shot into the right rough. His 152-yard pitching wedge approach ran to the back fringe, where he chipped his ball to 3 feet and made the clinching par.
"I have had trouble there before," said Womble, confirming he's yanked four tee shots there OB left. "So I just blew my tee shot to the right. It looked like a bad shot, but I was happy with that shot. It came up a little over the green, but it was the right way to play the hole."
It was a pretty strong finish under intense pressure by a guy who tied for 39th last year, when he shot 9-over 222, 14 shots higher than his winning total of 5-under 208.
Now that his lanky body has finally stopped growing like wildfire, Womble said he finally has regained some consistency in his game.
"My freshman year I grew about 10 inches in a year and a half and it was very tough on my golf swing," Womble said. "I had to go through several sets of clubs, I had to get them bent multiple times, I had to change my swing almost on a daily basis. People don't understand how tough that is to deal with. You can get the shanks one day just randomly just because of an inch of growth, and you're at a loss sometimes.
"So it's nice to level out and be able to work on my golf game a little bit. I went through some swing changes and they're really just starting to kick in, and I'm starting to hit it very well. I'm very confident in my game right now."