Going back-to-back: Walker Isley defends his North Carolina Amateur Championship
Walker Isley (Carolinas Golf Association Photo)
Walker Isley (Carolinas Golf Association Photo)

Walker Isley of Oak Island, NC, won the 64th playing of the North Carolina Amateur Championship at Croasdale Country Club. Isley dominated the rest of the field, shooting scores of 70-63-64-62 and winning by an incredible 15 shots.

During the blowout win, he set numerous scoring records, including the tournament scoring record and the largest winning margin record. With the victory, Isley became the first player in 50 years to win back-to-back North Carolina Amateur Championships. 

Isley is currently ranked No. 114 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Rankings.

The first round ended with Isley shooting a 1-under par 70 and finding himself six shots back of Nathan O'Neil of Wilson, NC. O'Neil shot a first-round 7-under 64 to take the early lead. However, after the first round, Isley tore up the course, shooting an 8-under 63 on his second round and taking the lead by one shot heading into the moving day.

In the third round, Isley continued to play lights-out. He shot a 64 and set himself up with a seven-shot lead heading into the final round.

Despite practically locking up the win, Isley refused to take his foot off the gas pedal. He set the tone early in round 4, making birdie on his first four holes, highlighted by a monster 40-foot putt on hole number two. Isley would make six birdies on his first seven holes. 

Isley finished with a bogey-free final round of 9-under 62 for a total of 25-under. Hampton Roberts of Cary, NC, finished in 2nd with a score of 10-under.

Isley's game plan was to play aggressive golf the entire week. In an interview after round three, he stated, "My goal is to shoot as low as possible and make as many birdies as possible, no matter how far ahead I am." This strategy was evident in his final round, where he reached the green in two on the long par-5 sixth hole. He then followed that up with a birdie on the 7th hole, which played the most challenging hole all week. 

When asked about his unbelievable final round score, Isley mentioned, "That was my lowest round ever in a tournament. I've shot 61 in practice, but that was easily my best tournament round."

With this victory, Isley earned an exemption into the 2024 US Amateur Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

When asked about his plan for that tournament, he said, "I'm just going to try to play like I did this week. I mean, we have so many great players here, so I'll be ready."

Results: North Carolina Amateur
1NCWalker IsleyOak Island, NC20070-63-64-62=259
2NCHampton RobertsCary, NC10067-71-66-70=274
3NCNathan O'NealWilson, NC5064-70-70-71=275
T4NCSean FinanWinston-Salem, NC5071-71-67-67=276
T4NCGarrett RisnerHolly Springs, NC5069-68-72-67=276

View full results for North Carolina Amateur

ABOUT THE North Carolina Amateur

Open in all amateur male golfers age 13 or older. Must be a resident of North Carolina and a member of a CGA member club with an index 9.9 and below. An 18-hole sectional qualifier is required for those that do not meet the exemption criteria. Format consists of 72 holes of stroke play with a cut to the low 60 and ties after 36 holes.

View Complete Tournament Information

Latest in 

Amateurgolf.com, Inc.
6965 El Camino Real 105-631
Carlsbad, CA 92009

Instagram X Facebook YouTube