ASHEVILLE, NC (June 13, 2005) -- Jerry Richardson, Jr., a North Carolina State golf team member, shot a final round 72 to capture the 45th North Carolina Amateur Championship. Richardson, a college junior, bettered fellow competitors Mike Goodes and Marc Matalavage in the final group to win in his first appearance in the championship. Although Richardson was tested by the skill of the rest of the field, perhaps their most difficult opponent was Tropical Storm Arlene, which kept The Country Club of Asheville wet throughout the week and caused two rain delays on Friday. Wet conditions, fast greens, and deep bluegrass rough kept the player’s challenged and the scores above par. The tournament came down the final hole and 1989 N.C. Amateur Champion and third round leader Mike Goodes could have extended the tournament to a sudden-death playoff. However, Goodes missed his 12-foot birdie putt and made par, matching Richardson and giving the 20-year-old member of Alamance Country Club in Burlington the victory. "I am just so proud to have won the tournament", said Richardson. "There is nothing more prestigious than winning your own state amateur. This is the first opportunity for me to compete in the tournament. Our NCAA Regional and Finals Tournaments usually fall in the same week and I was happy to find out that I could play."
The tournament was ultimately decided on the 16th hole when Richardson made par while Goodes made bogey. Goodes’ tee shot fell into the second cut of rough and he was forced to punch out from the difficult lie. From there, Goodes and Richardson matched one another shot-for-shot, giving the Richardson the one-stroke victory. Richardson had nothing but respect for his fellow competitor. "Goodes was such a grinder and a great putter. I played a practice round with him and got a lot of pointers just from watching the way he played the game. He’s really good."
Defending champion Paul Simson was in contention for most of the tournament. However bogies at holes 8 and 9, along with a lost ball at hole 15 forced the Raleigh native to a final round 77 and a tie for 13th.
The Country Club of Asheville was designed and built by Donald Ross and captured the essence of Ross courses with subtle greens and deep greenside bunkers. Although the course measures under 6700 yards, par-70, it proved to be challenging to the best amateurs in North Carolina with it subtle greens and deep green-side bunkers.
For complete results, click on the tournament link above (amateurgolf.com membership required).