Greensboro, NC (June 19, 2011) -- Twenty year old Harold Varner of Gastonia fired the day’s low round of 66 for a 274 total to win the North Carolina Amateur Championship at Greensboro Country Club’s Farm Course.
The rising senior at East Carolina had 7 birdies and one bogey. His round included an eagle 3 on the par 5 13th, which proved to be a turning point for the championship. Varner’s caddy Adam Perry helped Varner to victory. The Assistant Superintendent at Forsyth Country Club met Varner while at Gaston Country Club and offered to caddy for Varner when he came to the area.
“I felt like I could win when I teed off this morning” said Varner. “The course has five par 5 holes which I felt played to my strength. I just had to be patient and let it happen”.
Varner began the day tied for 11th and four shots behind third-round leader Ryan Gioffre of Greensboro. Varner’s front nine 34 bettered his position but it was not until the eagle at 13 when the leader board began to change significantly.
“That eagle on 13 really got me thinking” admitted Varner. I was able to birdie 14 and 17 to follow that eagle and then wait and watch the other come in.”
Four players finished tied for second and three shots back.
Defending Champion Ryan Heisey of Greensboro finished 10 shots back at 284.
In an ironic twist, Varner becomes the first male African American to claim a CGA championship. In the 102 year association history, no African American had one a title until Angela Stewart of Greenville won the North Carolina Senior Women’s championship earlier this year. Now two have claimed CGA titles in two months.
Varner competed in last year’s U.S. Amateur and recently qualified for the upcoming U.S. Public Links Championship which will be held in Oregon. He credits his continued improvement to his teacher Bruce Sudderth and his college golf coach and former CGA intern Press McPhaul.
“This is a blessing to actually win the state amateur. It is really cool."
View results for North Carolina State Amateur Golf Championship