In a Sunday that was filled with intrigue, drama, and plenty of inclement weather, Nicholas Mathews
of Mebane, N.C. was able to rise above it all to become the 61st North Carolina Amateur Champion.
It’s great,” said Mathews. “I’m really honored and very excited that I got the job done.”
Starting the day four shots back of the leader Ben Woodruff
of Huntersville, N.C. Mathews played his game as he had all week. After an early bogey on the par-3 second hole, he immediately got it right back with a birdie at the par-5 third. Birdies on holes six, seven and nine would see Mathews make the turn with a 3-under 33, and firmly in contention with an opportunity for a back nine charge.
After another birdie at the par-5 11th, Mathews would hit a small patch of adversity with bogeys on holes 12 and 15, that would see him fall two shots back of new leader Nick Lyerly
of Salisbury, N.C., who sat at Nine-Under-Par. This pivotal stretch was where Mathews looked his coolest. A mammoth drive on the 16th would see the North Carolina State rising sophomore flipping a wedge to mere feet for a kick-in birdie. Another good tee ball on the par-3 17th gave Mathews another birdie chance, this time from 20 feet. Sensing an opportunity to draw level with Lyerly, Mathews put a confident stroke on his putt, walking in the birdie to get to 9-under and tied for the lead with a hole remaining. Both competitors would par the finishing par-4 18th, and it seemed as if a playoff was destined.
“I birdied 16 and 17 which were huge,” said Mathews. “I hit a wedge stiff on 16 and then made about a 20 to 25 footer on 17 which pushed me in the right way. It was really good.”
The playoff would last one hole, with Mathews rolling in a two-putt par to grab hold of the North Carolina Amateur Championship. This is his second CGA Championship title, with the first being the 11th North Carolina Amateur Match Play last August. He will be looking to defend that title this year at Forsyth Country Club.
“It feels awesome,” said Mathews. “Especially to get it done here at Lonnie Poole which is our home course. It's great. It was a really fun week. I executed my game plan everyday so it was a lot of fun.”
Lyerly claimed runner-up in the 61st playing of the North Carolina Amateur Championship, and played a phenomenal final round with a score of 5-under-par 67. Kurtis Grant
of Southern Pines, N.C. would finish in third place with a cumulative score of 6-under-par, while Woodruff, Tim Bunten
of Concord, N.C., and Spencer Oxendine of Fayetteville, N.C., would finish in a tie for fourth at 4-under.
ABOUT THE North Carolina Amateur
Open in all amateur male golfers age 13 or older.
be a resident of North Carolina and a
member of a CGA member club with an index 7.4
below. An 18-hole sectional qualifier is required for
those that do not meet the exemption criteria.
consists of 72 holes of stroke play with a cut to the
60 and ties after 36 holes.
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