Against odds, Brame wins N.C. Amateur

Jun. 19, 2013 @ 09:19 PM

A weekend of ups and downs ended with the ultimate high for Henderson’s Steven Brame.

Brame shot a 69 Sunday to claim the N.C. Amateur Championship at Winston-Salem’s Forsyth Country Club. His 11-under 273 secured the title by one shot over Charlotte’s Bailey Patrick Jr. and Concord’s Trevor Cone.

Brame had to overcome some adversity to clinch the championship trophy. The Henderson Country Club member’s truck was crushed by a tree Thursday during his opening round. “I’m not really sure how to describe it,” said Brame. “I think I had probably about as much adversity as anybody can deal with in a weekend.”

Brame had just teed off on the ninth hole when the warning horn was blown, halting play as severe weather approached the area.

One under through eight holes, Brame waited out the storm in the country club ballroom before receiving word from his wife, Hillary, that the two had won a three-day trip via a Roxboro steakhouse drawing.

That enthusiasm would soon be tempered by news of the truck. The director of the Carolinas Golf Association alerted players that the storms had moved on, but there were trees down on the course, including one in the parking lot affecting multiple vehicles.

“Wow, I hope it’s not mine,” Brame thought.

Brame heard that a white Chevrolet Silverado bore the brunt of one of the downed trees. When he turned the corner near the club pool, his fears were confirmed. It was his Silverado with a tree laying in its bed, the truck’s nose upright.

“I was heartbroken,” said Brame. “I was mad. I was sad. I was so many different emotions right then. But I knew had to go out and play more golf that night.”

Brame finished the day two under through 15 holes as play was suspended for darkness.

Brame’s round Friday began at 7:30 a.m. He got a lift to the course from competitor Reeves Zaytoun, a member of the University of North Carolina golf team.

Brame said playing helped him take his mind off the truck. He also credited his father, Craig, who was on his bag, for helping him stay focused.

“Without God’s help, I wouldn’t have been able to deal with any of it,” added Brame. “I give most of the credit to him for the talent I have with golf and for being able to deal with the adversity and the nerves and everything that’s gone on.”

Brame played on the collegiate level for Cape Fear Community College and Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. It was the 2001 Northern Vance graduate’s fifth time competing in the amateur championship and his second tournament since taking second in May’s Henderson Invitational. He was one of 62 golfers to make the cut following the first two rounds.

Brame’s previous best finish in the amateur tourney was seventh.

“It was a huge achievement to win something on that stage,” said Brame. “There are a lot of names on that trophy that have gone on to successful PGA careers and won some big-time tournaments. I’m not sure I even realize what it means yet.”

Next, Brame will compete in the North and South Amateur Championship in Pinehurst July 2 before teeing off in the Carolinas Amateur Championship at South Carolina’s famed Kiawah Island Golf Resort Ocean Course.

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