Josh Martin (CGA/Twitter photo)
Josh Martin of Pinehurst, N.C., has done it again. Martin was able to successfully defend his Carolinas Amateur title in the same town that he played his college golf for the last four years – Chapel Hill. Last year, Martin won the 104th Carolinas Amateur just down the road from where he grew up at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst.
“It's crazy to think about but it's awesome to do it last year at home in Pinehurst and then to do it here where I went to school - my second home - it's pretty special,” said Martin.
Martin is only the second golfer in the stroke-play era of the Carolinas Amateur Championship to defend the title. His former University of North Carolina men’s golf teammate, Carter Jenkins is the other (’13, ’14 and ’15).
Not only was Martin able to successfully defend the title but he was able to do so in a runaway fashion. Martin won this year’s championship by seven strokes which ties the record for margin of victory in the stroke play era of the championship. Last year, he won the championship by three shots.
While it appears that Martin ran away with the title, his competitors were a lot closer than the final score shows. Martin got off to a hot start making birdies on three of his first four holes, but he gave two shots back after making bogeys on Nos. 5 and 8. He then put his foot on the gas at the turn and didn’t let off.
Martin made birdies on Nos. 10, 11, 13, 16 and 17. By the time he reached the treacherous par-4 18th hole the title was as good as his. Martin two-putted to victory on the final green.
“Coming down the stretch I saw I had a big lead coming in,” said Martin. “It was just a relief just to get in and not spoil that. I finished not how I wanted to the last two days so my goal was just to keep my head down and do what I do and finish strong.”
Martin’s 6-under-par 66 on Sunday was the low round of the day. He finished at 16-under-par, 272 total for the championship.
Former Wake Forest men’s golfer, Davis Womble of Winston-Salem, N.C., was hot on Martin’s heels in the final round. Womble made the turn at 9 under total for the championship and was only two shots off the lead at the time. Unfortunately for Womble, Martin’s bad holes were behind him and an even-par 36 on the back nine was not enough to catch the leader. Womble finished in solo second place at 9-under 279 for the championship.
Peter Fountain of Raleigh, N.C., was looking to claim his second CGA championship title of the summer but came up two places shy of the win. Fountain fired a 2-under-par, 70 on Sunday to finish the championship at 8-under 280 total to finish in third place. Fountain won the North Carolina Junior Boys’ Championship at Lonnie Poole Golf Course only two weeks prior to the start of the Carolinas Amateur. Fountain will follow in the footsteps of Martin and will begin his freshman year at the University of North Carolina this fall.
Martin, a recent college graduate, is continuing his education and his amateur golf career. Starting in September he’s going to the University of Nottingham where he received a scholarship to play on their golf team while he completes an eleventh-month graduate degree program.
“I’m not even sure if I’ll be back in the U.S. to defend depending on how the program is, but if there’s a will there’s a way and I’ll try to get back,” said Martin.
The Club at 12 Oaks team took home the Capers Cup at this year's competition. The Capers Cup competition is held during the first two rounds of the championship. Teams are comprised of three or four bona fide members from the same club, and the low three scores count. Zach Roberts of Holly Springs, N.C., Timothy Driver of Holly Springs, N.C., and Garrett Risner of Holly Springs, N.C., comprised the winning team and finished with a eight-over-par 440 to take home the trophy.
ABOUT THE Carolinas Amateur
The championship is conducted at 72 holes of stroke
play. After 36 holes, there is a cut to the low 60
scores and ties. Entry is open to any male amateur
golfer who has reached his 13th birthday by the first
day of the championship, is a legal resident of North
Carolina or South Carolina, is a member in good
standing of a club which is a member of the CGA
has an active GHIN USGA Handicap Index at a CGA
member club that does not exceed 7.4.
The Frank F. Capers Cup Team Competition is held
during rounds one and two of the Carolinas Amateur
Championship. Three or four bona fide members
from the same club comprise a team. The low three
scores count each round.
Format changed from match play to stroke
play in 2010.
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