Garrett Risner (Carolinas Golf Association)
After four rounds of golf, 72 holes was not enough to determine a champion at the 109th Carolinas Amateur at Pine Needles. Garrett Risner of Holly Springs, N.C., won the championship on the second playoff hole against Kevin O'Connell of Apex, N.C., the leader after days two and three.
O'Connell led by two spots on No. 16, but a bogey from O'Connell and a birdie from Risner created a tie at the top. Both players pared out to force the playoff.
Risner shot 71-69-66-68 over the four days to finish at 6 under.
Risner played a consistent Round One, shooting 1 over 71 to start the tournament on Wednesday. During Round 2, Risner added more birdies to his scorecard, registering a 1 under 69 and making the cut, going into the second half of the tournament at even par.
Risner came in with five birdies after Round 3, shooting an impressive 5 under 66 for the day. This would earn him a spot in the final group on Saturday, playing with O'Connell and Jack Wieler of Waxhaw, N.C., the leader after round one.
The Final Round was a battle, and the competition was tight throughout the entire day, and would see the lead change hands multiple times. Risner played a quietly consistent round on Saturday, remaining in contention as players rose and fell on the leaderboard.
As the final group came down 18, Risner and O'Connell were deadlocked at 6-under, and similar pars for both on the last hole set things up for a playoff. The match would end on the second playoff hole when Risner dropped a seven-foot birdie to claim the prestigious championship.
"Staying in the moment. Remember not to get ahead of myself and start thinking about what I need to do, and just try to hit the target I was hitting at," Risner said when discussing his biggest challenge on the course during the Final Round.
Ryan O'Neil of Waxhaw, N.C. finished in third place at 4 under.
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 9.9.
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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