May 6, 2023

2023 Connestee Falls Golf Tournament

With rain and storms in the forecast for Saturday, ninety-two golfers rolled the dice by entering the Upstate Amateur Players Tour’s tournament at Connestee Falls. The gamble paid off as the sold-out field enjoyed a beautiful spring day while competing for more than $5,400 in cash and VISA gift card prizes.

The weather turned out to be stellar for the competitors who traveled to Connestee Falls Golf Club, nestled in Brevard, North Carolina. Regarded as Brevard’s premier mountain course, Connestee Falls is an 18-hole championship layout designed by George Cobb. Situated at more than 3,200 feet above sea level, Connestee Falls provides a memorable experience for golfers of all skill levels.

On Saturday, the semi-private club hosted the Upstate Amateur Players Tour that provides great competition for all golfers with five different divisions, including senior divisions as well. Ten winners were crowned following the rounds on Saturday afternoon.

“We did not see any rain on Saturday, and it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon for golf,” said Larry Lee, Owner and Operator of the Upstate Amateur Players Tour. “Kurt Stegal and his course staff were fantastic to work with. As for the course, it was beautiful. The fairways were lush and green, and the putting surfaces were rolling very nicely as well. This was the first tournament that playing the ball down was able to be implemented. This course is a hidden gem for players in the Upstate.”

Here's a breakdown of the results by each division:

Division 1 – Eighteen holes were not enough to determine the winner in the top division on Saturday. Eric Johannsen and Brandon Pearson both shot 76 before Johannsen secured the top spot in a playoff.

Johannsen’s round got off to a hot start with two birdies on the first two holes. A birdie on the par-three 13th hole helped settle Johannsen in on the back nine. Pearson put on a back nine charge, recording three birdies in a stretch of six holes.

Jody Clary finished third, posting a round of 77. Connor Henderson, Jacob Sigmon, and Matthew Moore tied for fourth place with rounds of 78.

Senior Division 1 – Greg Moore made three birdies en route to firing a round of 79 to win Senior Division 1. He birdied two of the four par fives on the day and added another birdie on the par-three 13th hole.

Division 2 – Brandt Howard opened his round with two birdies in his first four holes as he defeated Scott Stevenson in a playoff to win Division 2 on Saturday. Both Howard and Stevenson posted rounds of 77 to reach the playoff.

Howard shot just one over par on the front nine as he started one under par through four holes. Stevenson tied the lead early on with a birdie on his fourth hole before stumbling to a five over par round on the front nine. His card was level on the back nine, shooting even par.

David Moses made back-to-back birdies early in his round as he shot 79 and finished third. Carlos Mojica finished his round off strong with a birdie on the 16th hole as he carded a round of 80 to finish fourth. Bob Grove rounded out the top-five with a round of 81.

Senior Division 2 – David Moses edged out Carlos Mojica to win Senior Division 2 on Saturday. Moses shot three over par on the front nine, which included two birdies. Mojica, who came up just one shot short, played his final six holes in even par as he attempted to climb the leaderboard.

Bob Grove finished third with a round of 81. Bobby Ream and Shayne Burger rounded out the top-five with rounds of 82.

Division 3 – The competition was tense in Division 3 on Saturday as Tommy Boyter emerged from a crowded field to win with a score of 83. The Greer, SC native got off to a solid start with seven pars on the front nine.

Mark Torres finished just one shot back in second place with a round of 84. His scorecard featured two birdies on the front nine en route to shooting 41. Zach Boyd, Wayne Blyler, Josh Calhoun, and Nestor Santana all finished in a tie for third place with rounds of 85.

Eleven players finished within five shots of the winner. Twenty-three competitors teed it up in Division 3 on Saturday.

Senior Division 3 – Tommy Boyter’s round was also good enough to win first place in Senior Division 3 as well. Boyter was trailed closely by Mark Torres. Wayne Blyler and Nestor Santana finished in a tie for third place with rounds of 85.

Todd Lynch and Mark Gattis finished tied for fifth as both shot 88.

Division 4 – Nicholas Miles used four pars on the back nine to shoot 88 on Saturday and claim first place in Division 4. Miles parred two of his last three holes to win by two strokes over second-place finisher Kevin Vaughn. Vaughn’s round of 90 was highlighted by a birdie on the par-four 4th hole. Two pars on holes 14 and 15 kept him in the hunt down the stretch.

Ryan Burns and Joseph Wirtz shot 91 to finish in a tie for third place. Burns’ round included a string of four pars in five holes to close out the front nine. Wirtz pared two of his last three holes to solidify his third-place finish.

Scott Bryant and Jerry York finished tied for fifth place.

Senior Division 4 – Scott Bryant overtook Jerry York in a playoff to claim first place in Senior Division 4 on Saturday. Both shot rounds of 92 as Bryant included a birdie on the 6th hole to jumpstart his round. Bryant shot 42 on the outward nine.

Eddie Terrell finished third after posting a round of 94. He closed his round out nicely with a birdie on the 15th hole while playing his last four holes just one over par. Kip Moore got off to a solid start as he posted a round of 95 to finish fourth.

Jimmy Sullivan, James Hallums, and Darrell Arledge finished in a tie for fifth place after posting rounds of 98.

Division 5 - A close battle developed down the stretch as Jan Kendrick took the top spot in Division 5 on Saturday with a round of 92. Kendrick had two pars on her final four holes to take the lead on the scoreboard. Her round also included a birdie on the par-five 11th hole.

Tim Kunkel played his final five holes in two over par as he made a charge at the lead to finish second with a round of 93. Damon Hubber shot 95 to finish third. Mason Hubber and A.J. Greer shot 97 to finish in a tie for fourth.

Senior Division 5 – While Tim Kunkel just missed out on winning Division 5, he took home the first-place trophy in Senior Division 5 with his round of 93. After a slow start to the back nine, Kunkel got into gear with a birdie on the par-four 14th hole. He finished his round with two more pars to secure the win.

David Croston and Bobby Lewis tied for second place, seven shots back with rounds of 100. Thomas Lanford and Danny Sullivan rounded out the top-five with rounds of 105 and 107, respectively.


Connestee Falls Winners

Division 1 Champion

Eric Johannsen


Division 2 Champion

Brandt Howard


Division 3 Champion

Tommy Boyter


Division 4 Champion

Nicholas Miller


Division 5 Champion

Jan Kendrick


Senior Division 2 Champion

David Moses


Senior Division 3 Champion

Tommy Boyter


Senior Division 4 Champion

Scott Bryant


Senior Division 5 Champion

Tim Kunkel