Smithfield’s Neal Lancaster posted the best finish on the PGA Champions Tour of his career Sunday, taking third in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y. He carded three straight rounds under par, finishing with a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday at En-Joie Golf Club. Lancaster shot 11-under-par for the tournament.
Paul Goydos won the event at 14-under.
The finish was worth $144,000 in prize money, the largest take home amount yet for the 53-year-old, mostly self-taught pro.
Lancaster, who finished 46th at the Principal Charity Classic in early June, had his best round of the DSG Open on Saturday with a 6-under, 66. That round vaulted into contention for the win on Sunday. He briefly was tied for the lead early in the final round, then had an eagle putt on the 281-yard, par-4 16th hole that would have put him in a tie for the lead. But he three-putted and parred out to finish the round.
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The finish should put him in the running for more entries into Champions Tour events. It moved him up to 58th in the Charles Schwab Cup standings from 135th in the season-long competition.
Trio draw top N&O honors: Three Johnston County prep athletes have been named as players of the year in their respective sports by the News & Observer. Swimmer Connor Blandford of Corinth Holders, state hurdle champion Syndi Fields of Cleveland and golfer Patrick Stephenson of South Johnston. The awards go annually to the top athlete in each area prep sport throughout the Triangle region, regardless of classification or public/private school format.
For a full rundown of the News & Observer PrepsNow team’s year-end sport-by-sport awards and athletes of the year, visit newsobserver.com/sports/high-school.
Second Triangle-area pitcher promoted to Double-A: Cary native Max Povse, a Green Hope High School graduate, was promoted by the Atlanta Braves from the Carolina Mudcats to the Double-A Mississippi Braves on Saturday.
Povse, 22, as 5-5 with a 3.71 earned-run average over 15 starts for Carolina. The right-hander was second in the Carolina League through the weekend with 91 and was a mid-season Carolina League All-Star.
He joins Clayton High grad Evan Phillips, another Triangle area pitcher, on the Mississippi roster.
Youth golf notes: Eston Lee of Four Oaks shared medalist honors in the age 14-15 division of a Triangle Youth Golf Association one-day tournament at Sanford Country Club last week. Lee finished at 77 with Brandon Jones of Sanford. Alex Casatelli of Clayton tied for eight in the boys 16-18 division.
Connor Blandford of Corinth Holders, Senior
Notable: 3A state championship swim meet MVP
Favorite charity: Race for the Cure (for my grandmother, who died of breast cancer)
Add to Mt. Rushmore: Albert Einstein
I wish I had been there when: Declaration of Independance was signed
Sydni Fields of Cleveland High, Senior
Notable: 3A champion in the 100 and 300 hurdles.
College: Appalachian State
They say I look like: Allyson Felix; which is good because hopefully I can have a similar successes
Biggest thrill in sports: The sense of community you get when you’re a part of a team
Favorite charity: Pencils of Promise
Patrick Stephenson of South Johnston, Senior
Notable: 3A state boys golf champion
College: East Carolina
Favorite Charity: The First Tee
I wish I had been there when: Payne Stewart won the U.S. Open in Pinehurst
Education’s biggest hurdle: Getting people to learn and not memorize