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Smith, Tindal close out 2019 with Carolinas Young Amateur titles
- CGA photo
- CGA photo

After two days of exceptionally warm weather in the Carolina Sandhills, the final CGA champions of 2019 have been crowned. College of Charleston Junior, Jodee Tindal of Rock Hill, S.C. and Wake Forest University Freshman, Fulton Smith of Pinehurst, N.C. are the 11th Carolinas Young Amateur champions.

Tindal started the day with a one-shot lead over her nearest competitor, Florida State University junior, Kathleen Sumner of Mount Pleasant, S.C.

After an early stumble, Tindal’s lead was gone and the two were tied heading to the seventh hole.

“I think my play was really good,” said Tindal. “It was probably better than the scores showed but it was really wet out there and some putts didn’t fall so I think it was pretty good overall.”

Tindal bounced back with a birdie on the par-5, eighth hole and never relinquished the lead. A par save on the final hole was good enough for a two-shot victory that gives Tindal her fifth CGA Championship title. Tindal is a three-time winner of the Carolinas Parent-Child Championship (2014, 2015, 2019) where she teamed up with her father Kevin and the 2018 Carolinas Women’s Four-Ball champion where she teamed up with her sister, Jaelyn.

“I’m really happy about this win because the past two years I’ve come in second and third so it feels really good going into the spring season,” said Tindal. “I just want to keep seeing myself getting better. Obviously a win gives me a lot of confidence so just need to tighten up my short game and hit it a little farther; get on my speed sticks.”

In the Men’s Division, Smith started the day tied for the lead with the defending champion and University of South Carolina senior, Caleb Proveaux of Lexington, S.C.

Smith went out with a two-under-par, 34 making three birdies and one bogey on the first nine of the Magnolia Course. He repeated that on the back nine to finish at four-under-par (68) for the day. His 7-under-par, 137 total was good enough for a five-shot victory over his closest competitors. High Point University Sophomore, Brandon Einstein of Clemmons, N.C. and Coastal Carolina University freshman, Garrett Cooper of Cowpens, S.C. both finished at two-under-par, 142 for the Championship.

“It’s a good way to go out with a win on New Year's Eve,” said Smith. “This win obviously helps my confidence a lot. I don’t have any specific goals for 2020 but I just want to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully the results will keep coming.”

The victory marks the fourth CGA Championship title for Smith. He is a two-time winner of the Dogwood State Junior Boys’ Championship (2016, 2017) and he won the 2019 Carolinian Amateur Championship earlier this year. His round one score of 61 at the Carolinian is tied for the CGA all-time, low-scoring record.

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ABOUT THE Carolinas Young Amateur

Entry is open to any male or female amateur golfer between the ages of 18 and 23 who have finished high school who is a legal resident of North or South Carolina, is a member in good standing of a club which is a member of the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) and has a current USGA handicap index at a CGA member club. The championship format is 36 holes of stroke play.

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