Davis Ovard outlasts Jackson Van Paris to win North & South Men's Amateur
Davis Ovard (Matthew Gibson/Pinehurst Photo)
Davis Ovard (Matthew Gibson/Pinehurst Photo)

When Davis Ovard took the course Saturday afternoon for the final match of the North & South Men's Amateur at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C., he knew he was facing not only one of the top amateur golfers in the world but a local favorite in Pinehurst native Jackson Van Paris

And when he went 2-down after eight holes, he knew he had to stay the course, pardon the pun.

"The main thing for me was to keep it simple," Ovard said. "I was only focusing on fairways and greens, and I was trying to take it one shot at a time. My caddy and I said all week that I just needed to give myself good birdie looks, and it would pay off."

Ovard defeated Van Paris 2&1 after taking a tie on hole No. 17 to end the match. Ovard is now ranked No. 134 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com U.S. Rankings. Van Paris is ranked No. 12. 

"I knew going into it that he would have the crowd rooting for him, so it was pretty tough," Ovard said. "I just tried to stay calm the whole time. (Jackson) is such a great guy, and I loved playing with him." 

Ovard was 2-down through eight holes but won holes No. 9, 10, 12, 13, and 15 to go from 2-down to 3-up. Van Paris won No. 16 to cut into the lead, but Ovard won the match on No. 17

Ovard added, "Going into the back nine, I just told myself to keep getting good looks, and eventually, I would start making them, which is what happened on holes No. 12 and 13."

En route to the final match, the No. 29 seed Ovard defeated No. 4 Brycen Jones 2-up in the round of 32, No. 13 seed Pongsapak Laopakdee 2&1 in the round of 16, and No. 12 seed Jase Summy in 20 holes in the quarterfinals. He then defeated No. 9 seed Jack Turner 1-up in the semifinals.

"I just told myself that everything resets at the beginning of match play, and I only needed to beat one person at a time," Ovard said.

Kelly Chinn earned medalist honors in the stroke play portion but was defeated in the round of 32 by Vanderbilt incoming freshman Michael Riebe

Van Paris put on another impressive showing in the stroke play portion after firing a course record 9-under 61 on No. 4 last year and earning medalist honors, finishing one shot back of Kelly Chinn and earning the No. 2 seed.

To earn medalist honors, Chinn shot a first-round 4-under 67 on No. 8 and a second-round 2-under 68 on No. 2 to get to 6-under and finish one shot ahead of Van Paris, Garrett Risner, and Brycen Jones. Jones, Risner, and Van Paris finished stroke play at 5-under and T2.

Van Paris advanced to the round of 16 with a 3&2 win over Hunter Swanson. He then William Sides in the round of 16 and Ian Gilligan in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he defeated the 2024 Sunnehanna Amateur champion Ben Warian to set up the matchup with Ovard.

26 golfers finished the stroke play portion at even par or better.

"It definitely helps me a ton," Ovard said about the win. "I know that I can play well on the big stage, and the experience of playing under pressure in front of a crowd will help me a lot moving forward." 

Results: North & South Amateur
WinTXDavis OvardFrisco, TX1200
Runner-upNCJackson Van ParisPinehurst, NC900
SemifinalsFLJack TurnerOrlando, FL700
SemifinalsMNBen WarianStillwater, MN700
QuarterfinalsPANicholas GrossDowningtown, PA500

View full results for North & South Amateur

ABOUT THE North & South Amateur

The North & South Amateur Championship is the longest consecutively run amateur tournament in the United States. Its past winners list includes names like Walter Travis, Francis Ouimet, Billy Joe Patton, Jack Nicklaus and Curtis Strange. The field is made up of invited players as well as open applications. Two rounds of stroke play are followed by five rounds of match play (32 qualifiers) to determine the Champion. All stroke & match play rounds are contested on Pinehurst No. 2.

View Complete Tournament Information

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