Tim Bunten wins second straight Carolinian Amateur
- Carolinas Golf Association photo
Tim Bunten of Concord, N.C. won his second straight Carolinian Amateur Championship on Sunday, closing with a 2-over par 74 to finish 4-under 212 for the tournament. Bunten squeaked out the victory over Graham Chase of Charlotte, N.C. and Mason Tucker of Lancaster, S.C. who both tied for second one stroke off the lead at 3-under-par, 213 total.
Bunten, who just finished his senior year at East Carolina, grabbed control of the tournament with an opening round 67 on the Keith Hills Golf Club layout and never relinquished the lead, carding rounds of 71 and 74 over the weekend. His road to a second straight Carolinian Amateur title was anything but easy, as the Concord, N.C. native clung to just a one-shot lead following a double bogey on the par-4 16th hole. Bunten steadied with a par-3 on the 17th and drained a birdie putt on the final hole to seal a one-stroke victory over Close and Tucker.
“Draining that putt on No. 18 was a very good feeling. As soon as I got it over the water in two shots, I took a deep breath. I was pretty sure that I won it after that putt, but I wasn’t sure until I heard the really loud applause and then I knew I had won it again,” said Bunten.
“I was scrambling really well. I had a couple of great up and downs on the front that kept the momentum up. I made a lot of eight to 12-footers for par to keep things moving. I didn’t feel the best off the tee, but around the greens I felt really good.”
This is Bunten’s second CGA championship title and he will be seeking his third at the North Carolina Amateur Championship and the North Carolina Amateur Match Play Championship this summer. “Winning this is awesome,” said Bunten. “I love it here (at Keith Hills Golf Club). I tend to play well here and it is great to continue that good play and start the summer off hot. It led to a really good summer last year so hopefully I can do the same this year.”
Columb Knight of Raleigh, N.C. finished in solo fourth with a three-day total of 2-under-par, 214. A three-way-tie between Michael La Sasso of Raleigh, N.C., David Sargent of Cornelius, N.C. and Thomas Owen of Fayetteville, N.C. claimed fifth with a 1-under-par, 215 overall finish.
The Carolinas Golf Assocation contributed to this report.
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ABOUT THE Carolinian Amateur
The tournament format is 54-holes of stroke play for
male amateur golfers ages 16 and older who have a
USGA handicap index of 7.4 or lower at a CGA
club. The field will be reduced to the low 70 and ties
after 36-holes. The champion will receive an
into the Carolinas Amateur.
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