GOLF: Fader, Milbrandt complete Lowco sweep at Jimmy Self

One was almost a foregone conclusion going into the final round, the other was far from it, but two Lowco junior golfers ensured the hardware stayed home at the S.C. Junior Golf Association’s 28th annual Jimmy Self Invitational on Sunday at the Palmetto Dunes Fazio Course.

Hilton Head High standout Lexi Milbrandt and recent Hilton Head Prep graduate Garret Fader captured the prestigious titles, but they did it in opposite fashion.

Milbrandt completed her stroll to the girls’ title, staying the course with a drama-free final round of 6-over-par 76 to win by three after shooting 1-over 71 in Friday’s first round to open a five-shot lead she didn’t relinquish. Milbrandt said her game wasn’t the sharpest after the scorching first round on a difficult track, but she was proud of her ability to maintain the right mindset playing with the lead and play smart golf over the final 36 holes. 

It was the first win of the summer for Milbrandt, and a big confidence boost heading into her all-important junior season and she aims to land an opportunity to play in college.

Milbrandt said her top priority in her recruitment is geography — she wants a chance to play college golf without straying too far from the beach. Only fair for a Hilton Head Island kid.

Fader had to find a different mindset, entering Sunday four shots behind leader James Rhodes of Columbia, who bolted to the top of the leaderboard with a 2-under-par 68 on Saturday.

He stumbled twice on the front nine with bogeys at No. 5 and No. 8, but he continues his torrid play on the opening holes of the back nine to turn up the heat.

With birdies at the par-5 10th, par-4 11th, and par-4 13th, Fader finished the week 9-under over that four-hole stretch.

And when he surged, the field came back to him. Rhodes made three bogeys coming in, as did Bluffton’s Luke Block, who charged into contention with five birdies in his first 10 holes before a back-nine 37 left him with a runner-up finish.

Fader said he plans to take a gap year to work on his game and play as many amateur events as possible in hopes of finding the right fit to play college golf next year, and Sunday’s win should help put him on coaches’ radars.

It also adds his name to a prestigious list of Jimmy Self Invitational champions that includes Lucas Glover, Kevin Kisner, Ben Martin, Bryson Nimmer, and many more who might soon become household names in professional golf.

Fader’s Hilton Head Prep teammate Cade Kriscunas shot 70 on Sunday to finish solo fifth, and fellow Dolphins Tag Graziano tied for 14th. May River’s Robbin Zetrouer finished fifth in the girls division, 11 shots off Milbrandt’s pace.

Jimmy Self Invitational champions Garret Fader and Lexi Milbrandt with their trophies.

28th annual Jimmy Self Invitational
Palmetto Dunes • Fazio Course


1Lexi Milbrandt (HHI)71-78-76225+15
2Emerson Devers (Murrells Inlet)77-76-75228+18
3Lilly Reed Black (Chapin)77-80-75232+22
4Akeira Sanchez (Charleston)77-79-78234+24
5Robbin Zetrouer (Bluffton)76-79-81236+26


1Garret Fader (HHI)71-72-69212+2
T2Luke Block (Bluffton)74-72-69215+5
T2James Rhodes (Columbia)77-80-75215+5
4Granger Amick (Spartanburg)77-79-78217+7
5Cade Kriscunas (HHI)76-79-81218+8


T14Tag Graziano (HHI)76-74-73223+13
T23Luke Block (Bluffton)79-74-75228+18
T26James Rhodes (Columbia)80-72-77229+19
T31Granger Amick (Spartanburg)81-72-78231+21
T31Cade Kriscunas (HHI)77-75-79231+21

Story and photos by Justin Jarrett

Justin Jarrett’s tagline. Justin Jarrett is the founder of LowcoSports. He has a passion for sports and community journalism and a questionable sense of humor.


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