Vilips, who has already committed to a collegiate career in 2020 at Stanford University in Northern California after attending high school in the US, has likely earned himself a start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational next year as the winner of this event typically earns an invite to Bay Hill in Orlando.
Some signficant players have won this event in its lengthy history including major champions, Hubert Green, Lanny Wadkins, Bill Rogers, Ben Crenshaw, Justin Leonard, Mark Brooks, Bob Tway and Webb Simpson.
Vilips' 15 under par total fell just one shot short of the previous record at the Country Club of North Carolina set by none other than 2012 US Open Champion Webb Simpson in 2007, the venue being used for the 7th occasion for the event.
Vilips began the final round one shot behind Crouch and an early bogey was a concern before six birdies from the 6th for a best of the day final round of 67 saw him home by one shot.
Vilips almost withdrew before the tournament even started on Wednesday. He’d been playing 9-holes with Cameron McCormick on Sunday in Dallas and stepped on a nest of Fire Ants which attacked his left ankle. By the time he arrived in Pinehurst his foot had swollen up so he needed to get emergency medical treatment which involved antihistamines, cortisones, etc.
In an effort to get better by the Wednesday first round he rested on the official practice day, weighing up the risk of lack of course knowledge against the risk of the ankle becoming badly infected if he didn’t rest it.
Earlier in the year Vilips won the Orange Bowl event in Florida and has four times been a World Junior Champion in various age groups.
A month ago Vilips finished runner-up at the Western Junior Championship and three weeks ago won the Polo Golf Junior Classic.
The Florida based teenager will attempt to qualify for the US Amateur this coming Tuesday and will play the Western Amateur just north of Chicago in a week's time.
Other Australians to perform well included the runner-up at this year’s British Amateur Championship Dylan Perry who tied for 13th although some ten shots behind Vilips while Shae-Wool Cobbs of the Sunshine Coast did next best three shots further back in 27th position.
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