Sam Wimbrow wins inaugural Carolinian Amateur
Sam Wimbrow has won the first ever Carolinian Amateur <br>(Photo Courtesy of Carolinas Golf Association)</br>
Sam Wimbrow has won the first ever Carolinian Amateur
(Photo Courtesy of Carolinas Golf Association)

BUIES CREEK, NC (May 22, 2016) - On Thursday, Sam Wimbrow of Concord, N.C. played in a U.S. Open Local Qualifier at River Landing. Friday through Sunday, he competed in the Carolinian Amateur at Keith Hills Golf Club. On Monday he will play in a North Carolina Amateur qualifier at The Club at Irish Creek. After five rounds in five days, he is excited to scratch one tournament day off his calendar: a Carolinas Amateur qualifier in late June. By virtue of his two shot victory at the Inaugural Carolinian Amateur, Wimbrow is exempt into the Carolinas Amateur to be held at the Country Club of Charleston on July 14-17.

Wimbrow, 20, entered Sunday's final round tied for the lead with 18-year-old Zakariya Butt of Summerville, S.C. On Saturday, Butt had carded the low round of the tournament, 67, to climb the leaderboard. Early in Sunday's round it looked like Butt would cruise to victory. Three-under-par through seven holes, he held a four shot lead over Wimbrow.

Despite trailing, Wimbrow knew he still had a chance to win, "I tried to stay patient," he said. "I knew that birdies were out there." Wimbrow's patience paid off. He began a barrage of three consecutive birdies by holing a 30-foot putt on the par-4 ninth. Wimbrow followed that with drilling a 145-yard pitching wedge for a tap-in on No. 10. He completed the run by draining a downhill 10-footer on No. 11 to pull even within one of Butt. "I went into hyper drive," Wimbrow said describing that stretch of holes. "I didn't expect those birdies so soon, and so many."

Wimbrow's performance may have flustered Butt, who was able to save par on the tenth after hitting his drive into the trees. On Nos. 12 and 14, however, Butt could not save par and Wimbrow was able to claim the lead. Coming down the final four holes, Wimbrow made up and down par saves on Nos. 15, 17, and 18. Meanwhile, Butt missed birdie tries on holes 15 and 17, and bogeyed the downhill par-4 16th.

Holding a two shot edge on the 495-yard par-5 final hole, Wimbrow pushed his tee shot right of the fairway. Stuck behind a tree, he bent his 7-iron while pitching back into the fairway. Trying to hit a smooth 6-iron with his third shot, Wimbrow found the left greenside bunker. "I had a downhill lie, short-sided," Wimbrow recalled. "I played my bunker shot perfectly, it rolled next to the hole for a tap-in. It was pretty sweet."

Trying for a tying eagle on 18, Butt missed the green with his second shot. Making par, he finished in solo second at 2-over 212. Wimbrow's one-under 69 Sunday tied for the day's best round. Playing on a par- 70 layout, he finished at even-par overall (71-70-69-- -210).

ABOUT THE Carolinian Amateur

The tournament format is 54-holes of stroke play for male amateur golfers ages 16 and older who have a USGA handicap index of 7.4 or lower at a CGA member club. The field will be reduced to the low 70 and ties after 36-holes. The champion will receive an exemption into the Carolinas Amateur.

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