North Carolina Amateur: Carter Jenkins wins in comeback fashion
UNC junior Carter Jenkins (CGA photo)
UNC junior Carter Jenkins (CGA photo)

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Under hot, sunny conditions at The Country Club of Landfall, Carter Jenkins of Raleigh overcame a three-stroke deficit to capture the 55th North Carolina Amateur Championship - his seventh overall CGA victory.

"This win means a lot to me," said Jenkins, a 19-year-old rising junior at UNC Chapel Hill. "It is a CGA championship I had not won."

Jenkins is the two-time defending Carolinas Amateur champion. He is believed to be the only golfer to hold both the Carolinas Amateur and NC Amateur titles at the same time.

Playing in his first CGA championship, 25-year-old Justin Tereshko of Greensboro held the lead entering the final round after posting the low round of the tournament, six-under-par 66, on Saturday. In second place two strokes behind was Wesley Conover of Holly Springs, a rising senior at East Carolina University.

With a three-stroke mountain to climb, Jenkins began firing at the flag. On the first hole, a 534 yard par-5, he knocked his second shot within 10 feet of the flag then converted the eagle putt. Tereshko birdied the hole, but his lead over Jenkins was already one less.

In the middle of the round, Tereshko was up-and-down with two birdies and two bogeys. Jenkins played the same stretch of holes one-under to get within one stroke. On the par-3 11th, Tereshko bogeyed, tying the two players at the top. Jenkins would return the favor just two holes later, bogeying the par-4 13th after missing the green short with his approach.

Pars by both Tereshko and Jenkins on holes 14-16 set up an exciting finish. Leading by one on the 505 yard par-5 17th, Tereshko pulled his drive left behind trees and had to pitch back into the fairway. As he did on the first hole, Jenkins reached the par-5 green with his second shot. A converted thirty foot eagle putt and a missed birdie putt by Tereshko gave Jenkins the lead he had been battling all day to claim.

With the roles reversed, it was now Tereshko's turn to shoot for the flag on the par-4 18th. Both players hit approach shots within ten feet of the final hole. Putting first, leading by one stroke, Jenkins had a chance to make his birdie putt to seal the championship. He missed, opening the door for Tereshko. With a downhill, sliding putt, Tereshko missed left, dropping his head in disappointment.

With the championship won, on Father's Day, Jenkins embraced his father, Bob, who caddied for him in the final round. “My dad influenced me a lot. When he was young, he played golf very well,” Jenkins said. “He always pushed me to make myself better.” Jenkins next looks to defend his Carolinas Amateur title at Greensboro Country Club (Farm course) July 9-12.

The low score of the day was posted by Jake McGlone of Charlotte. The rising junior at UNC Greensboro made eight final round birdies for a 5-under 67 to climb into 13th place at three-over 291.

Defending champion Josh Martin, 18, of Pinehurst finished in 16th at six-over 294 after a final round two-over 74.

ABOUT THE North Carolina Amateur

Open in all amateur male golfers age 13 or older. Must be a resident of North Carolina and a member of a CGA member club with an index 7.4 and below. An 18-hole sectional qualifier is required for those that do not meet the exemption criteria. Format consists of 72 holes of stroke play with a cut to the low 60 and ties after 36 holes.

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