Matt Kilgo (CGA photo)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Aided by four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 11th hole, Matt Kilgo of Charlotte, N.C., shot a final-round 71 to win the 25th North Carolina Mid-Amateur Championship hosted by Ballantyne Country Club.
The round got off to a shaky start for Kilgo, who led after each of the first two rounds. A wayward drive on the first tee would require a punch out to get back in play and ultimately led to his first bogey of the week.
“I knew it was going to be a grind out there today,” Kilgo said. “I haven't been in this position in a long time. I was hoping I was going to be able keep my nerves at bay. I'll be honest with you, I had nerves pretty much from the word go today.”
His playing partner, Joe Jaspers
of Huntersville, N.C., began the final round tied for second place with Thomas Owen
of Fayetteville, N.C., but birdied the first hole to cut Kilgo’s lead to one shot.
Jaspers found himself tied for the lead after making birdie on the par-5 sixth hole. A bogey on the 11th led to a three-shot swing when Kilgo made a 15-foot putt for eagle.
Owen made a charge for the title himself, pulling within one shot of Kilgo. Unfortunately for him and the rest of the field, Kilgo backed up the eagle on No. 11 with a birdie on the par-3 12th hole.
It looked like Kilgo might run away with it at that point, but a double bogey on the par-3 17th opened the door open again.
“I think I blacked out for 10 minutes on 17,” Kilgo said. “Not literally but the moment got to me. To be honest, I hit a really bad shot, three putted and was having a meltdown.”
In the group ahead of him, Ryan Nagy
of Raleigh, N.C., was able to grab a share of the lead after a birdie on the ninth hole. After Kilgo’s double bogey, Nagy found himself with the clubhouse lead.
Kilgo hit what he called “the best 3-wood of my life” on the par-5 18th hole and had two putts to claim the title. He lagged the eagle putt to a few inches and tapped in the birdie for the win.
“It means the world,” Kilgo said. “I've been playing in CGA events for 25 years since I was a little boy and it's been a long wait. I always knew I had it in me but to finally come here this week and put three good rounds together; My mind is scrambled from the elation right now. It's hard for me to put into words how I feel and I'm just really looking forward to go celebrate.”
This is Kilgo’s first Carolinas Golf Association Championship win. He qualified for the championship on the number by shooting a 77 at the Cabarrus Country Club qualifier in August.
ABOUT THE North Carolina Mid-Amateur
North Carolina Mid-Amateur Championship is open
any male amateur golfer who has reached his 30th
birthday, is a legal resident of North Carolina, is a
member in good standing of a club which is a
member of the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) and
has an active GHIN® USGA Handicap Index® at a
CGA member club that does not exceed 5.4.
Sectional qualifying is required in the weeks before
the championship unless exemption criteria is met.
54-hole stroke play event with a cut to the low 60
and ties after 36 holes.
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