Pinehurst News

Novak survives wild playoff to make North & South Amateur match play

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Andrew Novak putts during the third round of the 115th North & South Amateur on Pinehurst No. 2. Novak survived a wild playoff to advance as the final seed into the tournament’s match play. (Photo by Sarah Campbell)

Arizona’s George Cunningham takes top seed after winning medalist honors on Pinehurst No. 2

SCORES

MATCH PLAY BRACKET

By Alex Podlogar

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – Andrew Novak didn’t mind knowing he had to make the putt for birdie on 18 to stay out of a playoff. Of course, he didn’t really have a choice, either.

“Oh, I was informed,” he said sardonically. “My lovely mother had told me.”

As if the day wasn’t rough enough, Novak, who had begun the final stroke play round of the 115th North & South Amateur on Pinehurst No. 2 alone in third place, had tumbled all the way down the leaderboard into a tie with five others for 16th.

The math of the moment, though, was simple. Make the birdie from about 12 feet in the shadow of Payne Stewart’s statue and advance to match play as the final seed. Miss, and that meant signing for an 8-over 78 and God knows what.

Novak missed.

“I knew if I made it, I was probably safe,” said Novak, who plays at Wofford. “And if I missed, that I’d probably be in a playoff. Of course, I didn’t know it was going to be that kind of playoff.” … Continue Reading

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Beat the heat with our refreshing seasonal massage

SeasonalMassageSummer2015

Beat the heat with a trip to the Spa at Pinehurst. Our latest seasonal massage will leave your feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

During the 50-minute service, our therapist will blend FarmHouse Fresh’s Citrus Cilantro Body Oil with Ginger Sorbet Body Milk to create a luxurious experience.

The treatment wraps up with a touch of ultra-hydrating Honey Heel Glaze to pamper the feet.

Book today by calling 855-878-5077 and requesting the seasonal massage.

… Continue Reading

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Cunningham leads; Engle’s 65 rockets him into contention at 115th North & South Am

1GeorgeCunninghamRound2

George Cunningham tees off on the first hole of Pinehurst No. 2 to start his second round in the 115th North & South Amateur on Tuesday. Cunningham shot 69 on Tuesday and leads the tournament by four shots over Clark Engle. (Photo by Sarah Campbell.)

Arizona’s George Cunningham leads by four, is lone player under par

SCORES

GROUPINGS

PHOTOS FROM ROUND 2

By Alex Podlogar

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – Clark Engle’s day did not start well.

He came into Tuesday’s second round of the 115th North & South Amateur tied for 53rd after struggling to an 8-over 78 on a difficult Pinehurst No. 2 on Monday. With the field of 96 players teeing off on both the first and 10th tees, Engle was regulated as one of the also-ran’s on the 10th tee.

Then his round started, and…

It got much worse.

Clark Engle fired a tournament-low 65 on Pinehurst No. 2 on Tuesday to move from 53rd to second in the 115th North & South Amateur.

Engle bogeyed the par-5 10th hole – the 10th was the only hole on Monday that averaged a score under par – and then followed that with a bogey on 11. Already at 10 over through just 20 holes, Engle tumbled to near the bottom of the field. Guaranteed a third round of stroke play on No. 2 before having the field cut to the top 16 players, the Ohio State junior began to wonder what exactly he was playing for.

In 16 holes, he had his answer.

Clark Engle, it turns out, is playing to win. … Continue Reading

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Grimmer returns to Pinehurst, plays well to begin North & South Amateur

Will Grimmer, left, competes in the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

UPDATE: ROUND 2 RECAP: Cunningham leads while Engle’s masterful 65 rockets him into contention

Tennessee’s Chad Merzbacher leads after lone under-par round

ROUND 1 SCORES

ROUND 2 GROUPINGS

By Alex Podlogar

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – After just a couple of holes, Will Grimmer noticed something.

The hole locations looked familiar.

A year after playing in the 2014 U.S. Open on Pinehurst No. 2 and two years after shooting his way into Pinehurst lore with the only known 59 carded in competitive play, Grimmer returned to No. 2 for his first appearance in the North & South Men’s Amateur on Monday. He shot a 2-over 72, good for a tie for sixth and just three shots back of leader Chad Merzbacher after the first round of the 115th playing of the national event.

“That was fun. The only time I’ve ever played No. 2 was last year during the U.S. Open, and it was kind of weird to see it, well, normal,” said Grimmer, who shot his 59 during the second round of the 2013 North & South Junior on Pinehurst No. 1.

“The only time I’ve ever played No. 2 was last year during the U.S. Open, and it was kind of weird to see it, well, normal.” -Will Grimmer

“But I could still reminisce and remember how it felt last year. I stood on the 17th tee today and looked at that back left pin, and I was able to have flashbacks. As much as I was focused on today’s round, I had to kind of take a step back and smile and think about what happened last year, which was also a lot of fun.”

With his father Kevin on the bag, Grimmer opened the championship with a three-putt bogey on the first hole. But Grimmer, who will play at Ohio State as a freshman next season, settled down to hit the green in regulation on the first eight holes. He chipped in on the 8th and 15th holes, finishing with three birdies offset by five bogeys.

The familiar hole locations, nearly identical to those of the first round of the 2014 U.S. Open, were beneficial.

“Having the same hole locations really helped me,” Grimmer said. “I was like, ‘OK, don’t press, play for the middle of these greens and it’s going to work out.’”

Chad Merzbacher, the first-round leader of the 115th North & South Amateur.

It certainly worked out for Merzbacher. The University of Tennessee rising senior also chipped in twice and had just three bogeys against four birdies despite only hitting six greens in regulation. With No. 2 playing at 7,198 yards with greens speeds running close to 12 on the stimpmeter, the Minneapolis native’s 1-under 69 was the only score under par.

“I didn’t hit the ball particularly well, but I just kind of stayed with it,” said Merzbacher, who recorded seven top-15 finishes in 12 college tournaments this season. “I stayed in control and kind of sat in the passenger seat and just let it go.” … Continue Reading

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The 115th North & South Amateur – The Contenders

ROUND 1 RECAP, CLICK HERE

No player entered into the 115th North and South Amateur Championship is coming to Pinehurst without dreams of adding his name to the distinguished list of champions. The longest consecutive running amateur championship in the United States, the North and South’s prestige has long been well documented, its past champions among the most recognizable and celebrated names in the history of golf.

Ward. Stranahan. Patton. Nicklaus. Strange. Sutton. Pavin. Love. (Related: “The North & South Locker Room: Golf’s Greatest are Here”)

Even those who haven’t won the Putter Boy trophy still agonize over the missed opportunity.

And now, the championship returns to Pinehurst No. 2, where a 7,000-yard, par-70 setup with U.S. Open hole locations awaits players, both for three rounds of medal play and the decisive match play.

Before one of them etches his name in history on July 3, here’s a chance to get to know a few of the top players entered into the field. (Note: By no means do we think the champion will only come from this list.)

LIVE SCORING

PAIRINGS … Continue Reading

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