Courtesy of Carolinas Golf Association
A breezy fall day at The Club at 12 Oaks set the perfect stage for the final round of the 26th North Carolina Four-Ball Championship. Andy Knox
of Apex, N.C. and Mark McMillen of Holly Springs, N.C. captured the title with an overall 19-under-par, 197 finish.
Knox and McMillen are first-time four-ball partners, so reaching the final pairing was already beyond any expectations they had set for themselves this week. However, they had a strategy set for the final round in hopes of taking home the title.
“We just wanted two looks at each green. Having two putts on each green just gives you a whole lot of confidence in four-ball and that is what we wanted,” said Knox. “That has been our game plan all weekend.”
The duo got off to a steady start with a string of pars until their first birdie on No. 5. McMillen sank that putt, which was then followed by two more on Nos. 7 and 9 to maintain their one-stroke lead over Zach Roberts and Owen Kose of Holly Springs, N.C.
“I carried Andy (Knox) a bit on the front nine, but once we hit that back nine, he really fired up,” said McMillen. Then Knox remarked, “Mark (McMillen) shot 3-under on his own ball on the front, it was great. I wasn’t firing on all cylinders on the front, but then we ham and egged it really well on the back.”
After the turn, Knox got the momentum rolling with a birdie on No. 10 and McMillen carded another on No. 12. However, Kose fired off birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 to keep the pressure on. It wasn’t until a clutch par putt on No. 15 that Knox and McMillen earned some breathing room on the leaderboard.
“We haven’t played competitive golf since college, so this was just as fun as it was nerve-wracking,” said Knox. “Mark made a great putt on No. 14 to fire us up. Then we both got a little nervous over our 6-footers on No. 15 and when they went in we were all hype about it.”
The side cruised down the stretch with a two-stroke lead to capture the title with a 3-under-par, 69 final round. This is Knox’s third CGA Championship title as he won the 2006 North Carolina Junior Boys’ 13 and Under Championship and the 2009 North Carolina Junior Boys’ Championship. McMillen is now a two-time CGA Champion after winning the 2009 North Carolina Amateur Championship.
The gracious champions remarked, “We are both members at 12 Oaks and there are a lot of great members and good friends that we play a lot of golf with. It was really nice to have 50 or 60 people out here watching us; it really meant a lot. We had so much fun out here, and we can’t thank the CGA and 12 Oaks enough for putting this on.”
Alex Nianouris of Raleigh, N.C. and David Sargent of Cornelius, N.C. finished in a three-way tie for second position with Ryan Nagy and Trey Broome of Raleigh, N.C. and JD McNeill of Raleigh, N.C. and Jerry Richardson of Cary, N.C. at 17-under-par, 199. Notably, Nianouris and Sargent carded the low round of the day, a 6-under-par, 66 to tie for runner-up. Kose and Roberts claimed fifth with an overall score of 15-under-par, 201.View results for North Carolina Four-Ball
ABOUT THE North Carolina Four-Ball
Open to any male amateur golfer 13 or older. Must
resident of North Carolina and a
member of a CGA member club. Format is 54 holes
four-ball stroke play with a cut to the low 30 scores
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