[photo courtesy of Carolinas PGA]
GREENSBORO, North Carolina (August 3, 2017) -- Amateur Josh Nichols of Kernersville, NC is champion of the 93rd Carolinas Open Presented by BB&T conducted at Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center.
Nichols, a former member of the Appalachian State University golf team, entered the third and final round tied for third place at 4-under, four strokes back of amateur Grant Powell of Colfax, NC, a member of the Greensboro College golf team who began his day at 8-under-par. Powell managed relinquish that lead quickly, however, playing the front nine at 4-over-par.
Coming down the stretch, Nichols and amateur Garett Reband of York, SC, a member of the University Oklahoma golf team topped the names on the leaderboard. By the 16th, Reband had reached a tournament total of 10-under-par, a shot ahead of Nichols. Nichols saved a crucial bogey on the last, draining a long putt to finish his round at 4-under-par for a tournament total of 208. With the door wide open, Reband was unable to take advantage, giving up bogeys on both of his final two holes to post 208, matching Nicols and forcing a playoff.
The headed back to the 18th tee, a straightaway par-4 with small segmented portions to its green surrounded by hills on all sides providing natural spectator viewing. Both players striped drives to the center of the fairway. Nichols tugged his approach to the back left corner of the green while the hole was back right. Reband left his shot underneath the flag, but below a ridge. Nichols was first to play, facing a 51-foot putt that moves up a ridge for the greater portion, then falls downhill for the rest, with about 20-feet of left-to-right break. After studying the putt from various angles, Nichols made his stroke, rolling the ball absolutely perfectly for a final birdie. Reband gave his birdie attempt a good run, but was unable to match.
With the victory, Nichols earned the champion's trophy and a lifetime exemption into the Carolinas Open.
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ABOUT THE Carolinas Open
54-hole stroke play. The field will be reduced to the
low 60 contestants (or 1/3 of the field if 140 or less)
and ties after 36 holes. Open to CPGA Members and
Apprentices who are otherwise eligible as prescribed
by the CPGA Tournament Rules and Regulations and
Amateurs who reside in North or South Carolina and
have a current USGA Handicap Index of 5.5 or less
at the time of entry deadline, verified by a CPGA
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