LEWISTON, N.Y. — Despite a ferocious comeback attempt by North Carolina junior Carter Jenkins, recently graduated University of Virginia golfer Denny McCarthy two-putted from 30 feet on the 18th green at Niagara Falls Country Club to capture the 2015 Porter Cup in a playoff.
The win for the Burtonsville, Md. native comes after two previous runner-up finishes at the Porter Cup, most recently in 2014 when he finished tied with Beau Hossler a stroke behind winner Geoff Drakeford.
“I’ve dreamed about this moment,” McCarthy told The Buffalo News. “I can’t describe how sweet it feels.”
Jenkins, whose front nine during Saturday's final round featured two double bogeys on par-3s, stuffed it to four feet on the final hole of regulation to make his fifth birdie of the back nine and force a playoff with McCarthy. But the three-time reigning Carolinas Amateur champion three-putted from 50 feet when replaying the 18th in the playoff, giving the title to the deserved McCarthy.
University of Texas junior Gavin Hall, who held at least a share of the lead after the second and third round, will regret his back nine on Saturday, as the Pittsford, N.Y. native made bogeys on holes 13 and 14 to shoot one-over 36 on the inward nine and miss joining the playoff by two shots.
Placing sixth an earning Low Mid-Amateur honors was reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Scott Harvey, whose first-round 64 led by a stroke. He closed with rounds of 71, 74, and 68 to finish tied with Oglethorpe's Anthony Maccaglia, Michigan's Kyle Mueller, and Auburn's Michael Johnson.
This year's finish was one that locals and players won't soon forget, and the winner had strong words emphasizing that point.
“That's as good as it gets,” McCarthy told The Buffalo News. “It rivaled the U.S. Open, walking up to the 18th green at the U.S. Open, just because this place just means so much to me. Actually, it felt better. I love coming here, and it's so nice way to finish strong.”