Carson Ownbey (CGA photo)
GASTONIA, N.C. (Aug. 2, 20180 – Carson Ownbey of Candler, N.C., finished with his second straight 66 on day two of stroke-play qualifying to finish at 8-under 132 and sit at the top of the leaderboard. Alex Goff of Kings Mountain, N.C. and Nick Lyerly of Salisbury, N.C., finished tied for second at 6-under 134. Stroke play qualifying did not finish after a suspension of play in the afternoon.
Through the first 35 holes of competition, Ownbey totaled nine birdies and no bogeys, but on No. 18 he was left with a 3-foot putt that he had to wait to finish until after a rain delay. Ownbey would go on to burn the edge of the cup and settle for a bogey. Despite the disappointing finish, Ownbey still feels good about his chances in match play.
"When it comes to match play, if you don't make bogeys then you don't lose a lot of holes," said Ownbey.
Ownbey was able to hit 31 of 36 greens in the stroke-play qualifying, and he said that, combined with the putter catching fire on the back nine today, was the key to his success.
Ownbey will likely take the No. 1 seed headed into the match play tournament and he isn't taking it lightly.
"It gives me a lot of momentum," said the incoming freshman at UNC Charlotte. "I look forward to playing whoever I play, but it definitely helps out to be the number one seed."
Play was suspended at 2:00 p.m. for lightning in the area, and then again at 5:30 p.m. The second delay resulted in play being suspended until Friday, when the stroke play qualifying will restart at 9:00 a.m. First round matches are scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m.
The North Carolina Match Play Championship is conducted as 36 holes of stroke play to determine 32 qualifiers for match play.
Sam Wimbrow of Concord, N.C., leads the field after the first round of stroke-play qualifying at 5 under. Wimbrow made seven birdies at Gaston Country Club on his way to a 65, and sits in a very comfortable position heading toward Thursday’s final round of stroke play.
Wimbrow's back nine consisted of four birdies and no bogeys, and he credited that success to his putter. Wimbrow won the 2016 Carolinian Amateur.
"Honestly, it was the flat-stick," said Wimbrow, "I made a lot of putts and hit it close on a few."
With the field being cut to the low 32 scores tomorrow, the 22-year-old is not taking anything for granted.
"I've just got to stay patient and focused and play it one shot at a time."
Alex Goff of Kings Mountain, N.C., and Carson Ownbey of Candler, N.C., both finished tied for second place with rounds of 4-under 66, and there are four players tied for third at 3 under.
Play was suspended at 5:00 p.m. for lightning in the area. The delay lasted for about 45 minutes.
ABOUT THE North Carolina Amateur Match Play
Open to any male amateur golfer 13 and older. Must
a resident of North Carolina and a member of a CGA
club with an index no greater than 7.4. Sectional
qualifying is required for those who do not meet the
exemption criteria. Format consists of 36 holes of
stroke play qualifying followed by a cut to the low 32
players for match play.
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