Matt Vick, the head golf professional at Pinehurst No. 9, won the coveted Palumbo Cup at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club on Friday.
BY ALEX PODLOGAR
VILLAGE OF PINEHURST – Through 14 holes, Kelly Mitchum never lost the honor, never lost a hole, and rumor has it, still had never lost on Pinehurst No. 2.
Matt Vick changed everything.
In a thrilling match that featured dramatic par saves, huge up-and-downs and brilliant shotmaking, Vick, the head golf professional at Pinehurst No. 9, outlasted Mitchum in 21 holes Friday to win Pinehurst Resort and Country Club’s coveted Palumbo Cup, the annual staff match play tournament.
“I’m really honored. I’m about as happy to win this as I am anything in my career,” said Vick, who like Mitchum and several other Pinehurst professionals, competes regularly in the Carolinas PGA golf section. “This is a special place, and this is a special tournament. This means a lot to me.”
In a match in which the two players halved the first 12 holes – they both made bogey on 6 and birdie on 8 – Vick finally won with a par on the first hole of No. 2 – the 21st hole of the match – moments after draining an slippery 18-footer for par on the second playoff hole on 18 to stay alive in the match. … Continue Reading
Once again, the road to Augusta will go through Pinehurst.
The 2018 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship announced this week all of the qualifying sites for the championship, and for the second straight year, Pinehurst Resort and Country Club will host one of 10 regionals.
After local and subregional qualifying (all of the sites and dates for qualifying can be found here), one boy and girl from each age division will advance from the regional qualifying sites to the 2018 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, which is held annually at Augusta National the week before The Masters.
A golfer putts during the Drive, Chip and Putt regional at Pinehurst in September 2016.
Pinehurst will be the first regional played in 2017 for the 2018 Championship, taking place on Sept. 3. Other regional sites include some of the best courses in the world, including Winged Foot, The Olympic Club, Torrey Pines, Southern Hills, Muirfield Village and TPC Sawgrass.
“A hallmark of Pinehurst’s history has been its affection for the amateur golfer, and in many cases, the young amateur player,” said Pinehurst Director of Golf Ben Bridgers. “We are honored to again participate in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. We believe it adds to Pinehurst’s legacy as a home for amateur golf, a legacy that includes the century-old North & South Amateurs, past U.S. Men’s and Women’s Amateurs as well as the U.S. Kids Golf World championship events. We look forward to welcoming these tremendously talented young players to Pinehurst.”
The National Finals will be played on April 1, 2018.
A golfer stands with her Drive, Chip and Putt medal next to PInehurst’s Putter Boy.
Nearly 300 junior boys and girls from 24 different states and three countries competed in the 69th annual Donald Ross Junior Championship this week at Pinehurst.
AJ Beechler of Pinehurst took home the title in the boys 15-18 division, which was held on Pinehurst Nos. 4 & 5. With two consistent rounds of 70, he edged out first round leader Jack Parrott of Columbia, South Carolina by two shots. Beechler’s eight birdies were bested only by third place finisher Attie Giles of Pinehurst, who posted nine birdies throughout the two-day tournament. Grayson Wotnosky of Wake Forest tied for third place with a score of 143, while Connor Armistead of Charlotte rounded out the top five.
Jackson Van Paris
Another Pinehurst native claimed the first place title in the boys 12-14 division, played on Pinehurst No. 1. Jackson Van Paris defeated Ben Warian of Stillwater, Minnesota in a sudden death playoff after tying at 141 following two rounds. A bogey five on the first playoff hole was all Van Paris needed for the victory. Nicholas Hance of Irving, Texas, Drew Miller of Arlington, Tennessee and Narayan Mohan of Charlotte tied for third place, posting 36-hole totals of 142.
Kareem Elkassem of Raleigh claimed the top prize in the boys 11 & under division, played on Pinehurst No. 1. After finishing as runner-up last year, Elkassem was determined to take home a coveted Putter Boy trophy. He did just that, besting Sihan Sandhu of Ashburn, Virginia through two playoff holes. Sandhu’s second round 69 was the lowest score for the division. Jackson Herrington of Franklin, Tennessee took home third place prize while Greenville, South Carolina native William Jennings claimed fourth place. David Oliver IV of Pageland, South Carolina rounded out the top five.
Nineteen girls were part of Pinehurst history as they competed in the inaugural Donald Ross Junior girls field. Gracyn Burgess of Lexington, South Carolina took home the girls 15-18 title, narrowly defeating Kathryn Carson of Mooresville. Burgess entered the final two holes with a five stroke lead and played them at +4 to earn her title. Belmont native Taylor Hinson finished third.
Sisters Amelia and Emma Shen of Tenfly, New Jersey were both victorious in their respective divisions. Amelia topped the 11 & under field while sister Emma led the 12-14 division. Boonyanant Rujiranan of Southern Pines was the runner-up in the 11 & under field while Addison Klonowski of Naples, Florida finished third. Rounding out the 12-14 division was Katharina Floyd of Chapel Hill and Mara Hirtle of Pinehust who finished second and third, respectively.