North and South Amateur: Mollica takes it

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. (July 8, 2007)--Last year, Phillip Mollica, of Anderson, SC, competed in the North & South Amateur for the first time. He had to go through local qualifying just to make the Championship Proper field. He shot 64 in qualifying, setting the competitive course record on Pinehurst No. 4, and then followed it up with 67-64-131 in stroke play qualifying at the 106th North & South Amateur to take medalist honors and the #2 seed. Although he lost in the second round of match play, last year seemed to be a sign of things to come for Mollica.

Back in Pinehurst at the 107th North & South Amateur Championship, Mollica demonstrated that he could follow up his impressive play of the year prior with a solid performance in qualifying and precise play throughout the match play rounds. Mollica’s run was only truly threatened in the quarterfinal round against No. 41 seed Scott Barton, who took him to 19 holes.

In today’s final match of the 107th Championship, Mollica stood against #7 seed Raymond Sheedy IV, of Keymar, MD. In dominating fashion, Mollica strung together a series of holes that would have been difficult for anyone to overcome.

The opening round consisted of five birdies and only two bogies, resulting in an insurmountable 5-up advantage over Sheedy. Following the break, play began again in the afternoon, much the same as it did in the morning round, with a Mollica birdie. Mollica was conceded a birdie three on the difficult second hole to reach 6-up in the match.

Although Sheedy would fight back and attempt to chip at the lead, Mollica’s advantage would never drop below five holes. Mollica’s consistency eventually drained Sheedy as the back nine in the afternoon proved to be too much to overcome.

A birdie on the long par-5 tenth hole by Mollica pushed the match to the brink, 7-up with eight to play. Both players made par on the eleventh. Mollica, in fitting fashion, closed out the match on the twelfth with a birdie 3 and a final tally of 8 & 6 over Sheedy. For full results, click on the "see also" link at top of article and use the results tab.

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