The Etowah senior standout and Georgia Tech commitment withstood the challenge of a group of predominantly older and more experienced golfers to win the Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship last weekend at the Rivermont Golf and Country Club in John's Creek.
Officials with the Georgia State Golf Association believed the 17-year-old Albertson to have been the youngest golfer to win the event since Charlie Yates in 1931.
"It was definitely a fun tournament," Albertson said. "There were a lot of good players and the course was in good shape. It was a great weekend."
While he was proud of winning the tournament, Albertson said that being the youngest winner of the event in nearly 80 years wasn't something he necessarily dwelled on.
"I know it sounds like a cliche, but I think that age is just a number," Albertson said. "I really think that in match play, anybody can win. Instead of trying to beat 120 players, you only have to beat one in match play. And that's easier to do, whether you are 7 or 14."
Albertson clinched the tournament on Sunday with a convincing 5-and-4 victory over defending champion David Noll Jr., a three-time winner of the event.
It was a combination of steady play from Albertson, and inconsistent play from the top-seeded Noll, that made the difference. After both parred the first two holes, Noll bogeyed the next four, while Albertson birdied three in a row and parred the sixth to take an insurmountable lead.
Albertson needed just 14 holes to beat Noll, a five-time GSGA?men's player of the year.
"It was a combination of myself playing really well and David not playing his best," Albertson said. "He's a great guy, and he's won this tournament three times, so he's a great golfer."
Albertson had some closer calls on his way to the finals, beating Bill Bergin in the first round, Greg Kennedy in the second round, Tom Price Jr. in the quarterfinals and Wade Binford in the semifinals.
Albertson was tied with Kennedy going into the 18th hole of their second-round match, while he was 3-up on Price with four holes to go only to fight off a late comeback.
"Some of those matches were a little too close for comfort," Albertson said.
It was a big improvement for Albertson over his first appearance in the tournament in 2008, when he lost in the first round of the match-play portion and tied for fifth in stroke play.
"It's kind of a mental maturity, knowing what to do in certain situations," Albertson said of his improved results from his last appearance in the event two years ago. "In match play, the mental part of the game is as important as the physical part of the game and I think I am a lot better with the mental part than I was back then."
It was Albertson's first tournament since he tied for 14th last month at the Bobby Chapman Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C.
Next up for Albertson is December's Jones Cup Junior Invitational in Sea Island.
But before Albertson goes to Sea Island, he's scheduled to graduate from Etowah in December. He will begin classes at Georgia Tech in January, looking to get a head start on his collegiate career as a Yellow Jacket, though he will be redshirted this spring.