Pinehurst Tournaments Archive

Needham happily returns to Pinehurst, and it shows at 114th Women’s North & South Amateur

Sydney-Needham

Florida’s Sydney Needham shares the lead at 114th Women’s North & South Amateur on Pinehurst No. 2.

Florida senior fires 2-under 69 to share lead with Texas A&M star Maddie Szeryk

BY ALEX PODLOGAR

SCORES

GROUPINGS

COURSE STATS

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. –Sydney Needham couldn’t wait to get back to Pinehurst.

And it showed in her game.

Playing her third Women’s North & South Amateur, the Florida senior had an eagle and two birdies to fire a 2-under 69 and share the lead with Texas A&M’s Maddie Szeryk after the first round of the 114th edition of the storied Pinehurst championship on Monday at Pinehurst No. 2.

“This is the one tournament out of the year where I’m excited to come out and play,” Needham said. “This is the one I look forward to every year. We’re taken care of by all the people here, and it makes me feel so good. And obviously, it translates out onto the golf course.”

Obviously.

Needham started her round on the 10th hole, and after a couple of pars, she holed out from the fairway on the 12th. Needham made birdies on both par-3s, the 15th and the 17th, to shoot a 4-under 32 on her first nine.

Needham made back-to-back bogeys after that, but finished with seven straight pars – including a nifty up-and-down from the swale right of the 9th green – to match Szeryk for the low round of the day.

It was also the best round Needham has played at No. 2. She narrowly missed the cut to the top 16 for match play a year ago.

“I come here every year because I love playing Pinehurst No. 2,” Needham said. “It’s so fun out here.

“The history of the golf course makes it just a really cool environment to be a part of,” Needham added. “It’s a golfer’s dream, it really is.”

Maddie.Szeryk

Texas A&M’s Maddie Szeryk is the 114th Women’s North & South Amateur co-leader after the first round.

Szeryk matched Needham’s dream round, making a staggering five birdies on the day in her first competitive appearance on No. 2. The Canada native holds several school records at Texas A&M, including scoring average, and it showed on Monday. Missing just one fairway, Szeryk was in control much of the day.

“I played really solid,” Szeryk said. “I knew when to go for it and when to just go for par and hit it to the middle of the green.

“I hit it really well today off the tee, and when you’re in the fairway here, it gives you some opportunities.”

Szeryk is one of several players with Team Canada, the nation’s developmental golf program. Team Canada has long been a presence at the North & South, and its talent was on display Monday. Fellow Canadian Jaclyn Lee added an even-par 71 to share third with another Florida standout, Kelly Grassel.

The championship will feature two more rounds of stroke play on Tuesday and Wednesday before the field is cut to the top 16 players. From there, the championship will be decided by match play, with the Round of 16 and quarterfinal matches being played Thursday and the semifinals and final played on Friday.

Despite the two rounds under par at the top of the leaderboard – the 2015 championship had just one round under par through 54 holes of medal play – No. 2 still lived up to its U.S. Open reputation . The stroke average for the field was 79.57, with the front nine averaging above 40. There were more double bogeys – 122 to 109 – than birdies.

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South Carolina star Katelyn Dambaugh opened the Women’s North & South with a 2-over 73.

The lone player to shoot under par on No. 2 a year ago was 2015 medalist Katelyn Dambaugh, who returns to the Women’s North & South after another brilliant season at South Carolina. The Annika Award runner-up and All-American said she wasn’t at her best on Monday, but still managed a 2-over 73 to find herself tied for seventh.

“It played pretty tough,” said Dambaugh, the top-ranked player in the field. “It’s just a really difficult golf course. “

Dambaugh, though, showed off her brilliance with perhaps the best par save of the day on the 419-yard par-4 8th. After hitting her approach long and left of the green – perhaps the most undesirable spot on all of No. 2 – Dambaugh faced a similar pitch and hole location that drove John Daly to smack his ball while it was still rolling in the 1999 U.S. Open.

Dambaugh, though, bumped her chip into the bank. Still, even she was stunned to see her ball stop 2 feet from the hole for a miracle par.

“I’ll never know how that happened,” Dambaugh said with laugh.

Manuela Carbajo Re had one of the best starts in Women’s North & South history, opening with a birdie on the 1st, an eagle on the 2nd and a birdie on the 3rd to be 4 under through 3. While she stumbled with a triple bogey on the par-4 7th, Carbajo Re still managed a 1-over 72 to share fifth with junior golf standout Jennifer Chang, of Cary.

North & South champions are among the legends of the game: Babe Zaharias, Louise Suggs, Peggy Kirk Bell, Hollis Stacey as well as Brandie Burton, Brittany Lang, Morgan Pressel and Yani Tseng. As much as the North & South is a championship with a great past, it also continues to foster a great legacy. Ten of the last 13 Amateur champions have joined the LPGA Tour, three of whom have won major championships – Pressel, Tseng and as of Sunday, Lang, who won the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open.

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The 114th Women’s North & South Amateur – The Contenders

Bailey Tardy 2015 Womens N&S Winner

The 113th North & South Women’s Amateur Champion, Bailey Tardy.

LIVE SCORING

GROUPINGS

A year ago, nine former Women’s North & South Amateur champions competed in the U.S. Women’s Open. This year, at CordeValle, eight previous Women’s North & South Am champs are in the field.

That’s one more than the number of former U.S. Amateur champions.

Ten of the last 13 champions at Pinehurst have gone on to earn LPGA status. A couple of those – Yani Tseng (2005) and Morgan Pressel (2004) – have won major championships.* Of those 10, they’ve combined for more than $27.6 million in earnings, 19 victories and 208 top 10 finishes.

*Make that THREE! Congrats to 2003 North & South champ Brittany Lang on winning the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open!

And two of the last three champions include Ally McDonald – on pace to earn her LPGA Tour card via the Symetra Tour this year – and Bailey Tardy, who went on to star at Georgia for her freshman season and is playing in her second U.S. Women’s Open.

The field at the Women’s North & South Amateur is always among the deepest in the country. And 2016 is no exception.

So, who might win the 114th edition of the prestigious event? Here’s a look at the top contenders. (A note: As deep as this field is, it would surprise no one if the eventual champion is someone who is not on this initial list – just like Bailey Tardy.) The championship begins Monday with the first round of stroke play.

Katelyn.Dambaugh

South Carolina’s Katelyn Dambaugh is the top-ranked player in the Women’s North & South field. A year ago, she was the championship’s medalist and reached the semifinals.

KATELYN DAMBAUGH – Dambaugh was the 2015 Women’s North & South medalist a year ago, carding the only under par round during three rounds of stroke play on Pinehurst No. 2. She reached the semifinals of the event before falling in a blockbuster match with Bethany Wu. The lefty is ranked as the No. 2 amateur in the world by Golfweek, and a lot of it has to do with her spectacular college career at South Carolina. Dambaugh, a rising senior, was a First Team All-American this season, the ANNIKA Award runner-up, won the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional and set a school record for scoring average (71.62) and top-5 finishes in a single season (6). Dambaugh was the runner-up at the SEC Championship – setting a new record for lowest round (65) – and was under par in 10 of her 12 postseason rounds.

Kristen Gillman with the Robert Cox Trophy after winning the final round of match play at the 2014 U.S. Women's Amateur at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, N.Y. on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014.  (Copyright USGA/Darren Carroll)

Kristen Gillman

KRISTEN GILLMAN – Gillman won the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur. Who did she beat? Brooke Henderson. Good enough for us.

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Maria Torres

MARIA TORRES – So who beat Dambaugh to win the SEC title? Florida’s Maria Torres, ranked fifth in Golfweek’s amateur rankings. Torres was the 2016 SEC Golfer of the Year – the first Florida golfer to earn the honor since 1990 – had a 71.83 scoring average over 32 competitive rounds, and finished with 10 Top-25 finishes and five top-10 finishes. Torres represented Puerto Rico in the 2015 PanAmerican Games, finishing tied for 16th.

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Cheyenne Knight

CHEYENNE KNIGHT – Ranked as the sixth-best amateur by Golfweek, Knight backed up a stellar junior career with a great freshman season with top-ranked Alabama. Knight won the 2014 Texas 4-A state title, then won the 5-A state title in 2015. Knight, who was fourth at the NCAA Championship, also made the cut in her LPGA Tour debut, finishing tied for 29th and breaking par at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout in April.

Casey Danielson won medalist honors at the 112th Women's North & South Amateur at Pinehurst.

Casey Danielson won medalist honors at the 112th Women’s North & South Amateur at Pinehurst.

CASEY DANIELSON – Danielson was the Women’s North & South medalist in 2014 at Pinehurst No. 8 and helped defending national champion Stanford reach the NCAA Championship finals this season before the team finished as the runner-up. Danielson posted three top-5 finishes, including a second and two fourths this year, and placed tied for sixth in the NCAA Championship. In high school, Danielson won four individual state championship titles and was her class valedictorian.

AUGUST KIM – Ranked 43rd by Golfweek, August Kim is the reigning Big Ten champion. The Purdue senior set a tournament record at the Big Ten Championship and went on to finish in a tie for 32nd at the NCAA Championship. Kim shot a team-high 12 rounds under par this season.

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Anna Redding won the 2013 Girls’ North & South Junior, then came back to finish as a semifinalist in the 2015 Women’s North & South Amateur.

ANNA REDDING – Redding won the 2013 Girls’ North & South Junior, then came back and finished as a semifinalist in the Women’s North & South a year ago, losing to the eventual champion, Tardy. Redding had a solid freshman season at Virginia, ranking fourth on the team in scoring average and appearing in the NCAA Championship. Redding was fifth at the ACC Championship and closed the regular season with back-to-back top-10 finishes.

Maddie.Szeryk

Maddie Szeryk

MADDIE SZERYK – Szeryk owns a host of Texas A&M school records. She’s tied for Texas A&M’s career lead in stroke average with 72.00 entering her senior season in 2016-17 and holds the No. 2 and No. 3 spots on A&M’s single-season stroke average list. Szeryk ranks second on Texas A&M’s career par or better rounds list and ranks first and third on Texas A&M’s season par-or-better rounds list.

North & South Junior Girls Champion Brigitte Dunne.

2014 North & South Junior Girls Champion Brigitte Dunne.

BRIGITTE DUNNE – Dunne won the 2014 Girls’ North & South Junior before enrolling at SMU. Dunne narrowly missed match play in the North & South a year ago, and comes into the 114th edition off a freshman season in which she appeared in 12 tournaments and played 34 rounds to a 74.59 scoring average.

SARAH BAE – Long a North Carolina prep golf standout, Bae won the 2010 Girls’ North & South Junior. She spent her first two collegiate seasons at High Point, where she was Big South Conference Player of the Year. Bae now plays for N.C. State, where she collected two top-20 finishes.

Honorable mentions: Kacie Komoto (ranked 48th by Golfweek); Marianne Li (formerly the top-ranked junior in Washington state); Kelly Whaley (daughter of Suzy Whaley, current Secretary of the PGA of America); Haley Mills (three top-10s with Texas during freshman season); Jessica Porvasnik (four top-10s at Ohio State this season).

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On her birthday, Beaudreau wins 38th Girls’ Junior North & South

Lauren Beaudreau (853x1280)

Lauren Beaudreau won the 38th Girls’ Junior North & South Amateur. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

BY ALEX PODLOGAR

GIRLS’ SCORES

BOYS’ SCORES

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – Lauren Beaudreau turned 16 years old on Wednesday, the same day as the final round of the 38th Girls’ Junior North & South Amateur.

And so at breakfast in The Carolina Dining Room, pianist Gary Brown marked the occasion.

“He played a really long version of ‘Happy Birthday’ for me,” a smiling Beaudreau beamed.

It was the start to a perfect day. Beaudreau made two birdies on the first three holes to get off to a hot start in winning the Girls’ Junior North & South with a final-round 73 for a three-day total of 2-over-par 218.

“This place has so much tradition, and it’s just so great to now be a part of it,” said Beaudreau, of Lemont, Illinois. “I love this place, and I love coming back.”

Beaudreau, who competed in the U.S. Kids World Championship at Pinehurst when she was 11 and 12 years old, shot 76 on Pinehurst No. 2 in the first round before following that with the championship’s low round of 69 on Pinehurst No. 6. She followed that with a 73 on Wednesday, recovering from a double bogey on 14 with a birdie on 15 to clip Michaela Williams, of Athens, Alabama, by one shot.

“I started really hot and was really feeling good,” Beaudreau said. “I dropped a little bit, but I was able to hang on to the lead.”

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Alberto Martinez won the 38th Boys’ Junior North & South Amateur at Pinehurst. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Already a Pinehurst champion, Martinez wins 38th Boys’ Junior North & South

Alberto Martinez came into the Boys’ Junior North & South Amateur with a significant Pinehurst victory already on his resume. When he was 13, Martinez won the U.S. Kids World 13-and-under Championship.

Martinez proved just as steady at this level, making a clutch birdie on the par-5 17th hole at Pinehurst No. 8 to capture the 38th Boys’ Junior North & South by two shots.

“It means a lot,” Martinez, 16, said of his victory on Wednesday. “I’ve put in a lot of hard work and my family has done a lot to support me. It’s incredible to think I’ve had success at Pinehurst before and now have success at Pinehurst again.”

Martinez, who as a rising junior has already committed to play for Florida State, came into the round tied for second and a shot back. He made two birdies and a bogey in his final-round 71 to cap a three-day total of 2-under-par 212.

Martinez was the lone player under par. Nicholas Lyerly, of Salisbury, and Cooper Sears, of Old Hickory, Tennessee, tied for second at even par.

With their victories, both Beaudreau and Martinez earned berths into the 2017 Women’s and Men’s North & South Amateur championships.

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East Carolina’s Tim Conover wins the 116th North & South Amateur

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Tin Conover stands with the Putter Boy trophy after winning the 116th North & South Amateur at Pinehurst No. 2. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

In a brilliant championship performance, Conover defeats Andrew Whalen 4 & 2 to win the coveted Putter Boy Trophy

MATCH PLAY BRACKET

BY ALEX PODLOGAR    

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – It finally got a little easier for Tim Conover.

The East Carolina junior won four of the first five holes to take a commanding lead that was barely threatened to defeat Andrew Whalen 4 & 2 and capture the 116th North & South Amateur on Friday at Pinehurst No. 2.

“This means the world to me,” said Conover, who was the Carolinas Golf Association’s Junior Boys Player of the Year in 2013. “It’s really just amazing to think about. It was a week of really close calls, but somehow, I was really resilient.”

The final was a commanding performance in a week in which Conover, of nearby Holly Springs, N.C., constantly found himself of the edge of elimination. He made a testy 5-footer on 18 to close stroke play, then survived a 7-players-for-5-spots playoff to qualify for match play with the 31st seed – out of a possible 32.

It didn’t get any easier from there. Faced with perhaps the most difficult draw in the championship, Conover first knocked out second-seeded Tyler McDaniel before playing a staggering 39 total holes in Thursday’s Round of 16 and quarterfinal matches. He beat Nick Hardy, perhaps the championship’s best player, with clutch birdies on the 20th and 21st holes, then went all 18 holes before outlasting N.C. State recruit Benjamin Shipp to reach the North & South’s final day.

And what a day it was.

“I played awesome,” Conover admitted. “I was almost flawless.”

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116th North & South Amateur Champion Tim Conover is presented with the Putter Boy trophy by Pinehurst Tournament Director Brian Fahey behind the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2. (Photo by Sarah Campbell)

Conover won the first two holes with pars when Whalen failed to get up and down. But Conover made a brilliant birdie on the 4th after a great approach from the native area right of the fairway, then followed with another birdie on the par-5 5th. Walking to the 6th tee, Conover was already in firm control of the match.

“I didn’t play great, but Tim played so solid all day,” said Whalen, who reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball in Winged Foot in May. “I knew if I wasn’t making birdies then I wasn’t going to win the hole.”

Whalen got back within three holes after Conover’s only mistake of the day – a three-putt on the 7th. But Conover drained a 9-footer for par to get up and down from the left bunker on the 9th, and after Whalen 3-putted, Conover was back in front by four after the front 9.

Whalen had a couple of chances to get closer. He birdied 12 to move within three holes again, and then stuck his approach shot to 4 feet on 13 to put more pressure on his opponent. But Conover coolly made his birdie putt first, and with the pressure back on Whalen, the Northwestern senior missed.

“I didn’t expect him to make the putt, but I should’ve,” Whalen said. “That was big. I feel like if I would’ve made that putt and he missed it, I would’ve been really close.”

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Andrew Whalen is congratulated by Pinehurst Director of Golf Ben Bridgers after finishing as the runner-up in the 116th North & South Amateur. (Photo by Sarah Campbell)

Whalen stayed alive with a 25-footer for birdie on 14, but Conover again came through with his putter, making an 8-footer for par on 15 to keep his 3-up lead heading to 16.

“I did that all week,” Conover said of his clutch putting. “I have a lot of confidence in my putter, and I knew I absolutely had to make those. Today, I just got really good reads, and after that, it was just about taking the right line and making a good stroke, knowing they’d go in.”

“Now I know I can really beat anyone, and win anything. This is such a tough test, a lot of good players…and Pinehurst No. 2. I won that battle.” -Tim Conover

Conover finally put Whalen away with perhaps his best shot of the tournament, a dazzling approach to 6 feet on the 513-yard par-4 16th. He never had to putt it. After missing his chip left of the green, Whalen conceded the putt and the match.

It was a fitting end for Conover, who had to work so hard at every moment throughout the week.

“Now I know I can really beat anyone, and win anything,” Conover said of the win while clutching his Putter Boy trophy. “This is such a tough test, a lot of good players…and Pinehurst No. 2. I won that battle.”

The Men’s North & South Amateur Championship is the longest consecutive-running amateur golf championship in the United States. Over the past century, the best in the golf world have vied for its coveted Putter Boy trophy. The winners now serve as legends in the game – Walter Travis, Ouimet, Billy Joe Patton, Nicklaus, Curtis Strange and Love III, among others – and continues to draw the best in amateur golf circles.

116th North & South Amateur

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club

Pinehurst No. 2

June 27-July 1

Round of 32

June 29

No. 1 Stephen Franken, Raleigh, N.C. d. No. 32 Cameron John, Ferntree Gully, Australia, 5 & 4

No. 17 George Cunningham d. No. 16 Ryan Troyer, Dover, Ohio, 3 & 1

No. 25 Brian Ohr, Wheeling, Ill. d. No. 8 Trevor Sluman, Pittsford, N.Y. 3 & 2

No. 9 Thomas Walsh, High Point, N.C. d. No. 24 A.J. Beechler, Pinehurst, N.C., 19 holes

No. 29 Gray Townsend, Winston-Salem, N.C. d. No. 4 Andre Garcia, Mansfield, Texas, 3 & 2

No. 20 Lloyd Jefferson Go, Philippines d. No. 13 Stoney Crouch, Mount Juliet, Tenn., 2 & 1

No. 5 Alex Smalley, Wake Forest, N.C. d. No. 28 Ryan Orr, Belleair, Fla., 1up

No. 21 Andrew Whalen, Ephrata, Wash. d. No. 12 Brandon Bauman, Las Vegas, Nev., 20 holes

No. 31 Tim Conover, Holly Springs, N.C. d. No. 2 Tyler McDaniel, Manchester, Ky., 2 & 1

No. 15 Nick Hardy, Northbrook, Ill. d. No. 18 Jonathan Brightwell, Charlotte, N.C., 4 & 3

No. 7 Benjamin Shipp, Duluth, Ga. d. No. 26 Daniel Wetterich, Cincinnati, Ohio, 6 & 5

No. 10 Zander Lozano, Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas d. No. 23 Chris Korte, Littleton, Colo., 3 & 2

No. 3 Joey Savoie, Saint Leo, Canada d. No. 30 Craig Hornberger, Lancaster, Pa., 1up

No. 14 William Register, Burlington, N.C. d. No. 19 Joshua Martin, Pinehurst, N.C., 1up

No. 6 Chris Crawford, Bensalem, Pa. d. No. 27 Ryan Cornfield, Spartanburg, S.C., 1up

No. 22 David Kocher, Charlotte N.C. d. No. 11 Cole Ray, Raleigh, N.C., 8 & 6

Round of 16

June 30

No. 17 George Cunningham d. No. 1 Stephen Franken, 4 & 3

No. 9 Thomas Walsh d. No. 25 Brian Ohr, 2 & 1

No. 20 Lloyd Jefferson Go d. No. 29 Gray Townsend, 2 & 1

No. 21 Andrew Whalen d. No. 5 Alex Smalley, 6 & 5

No. 31 Tim Conover d. No. 15 Nick Hardy, 21 holes

No. 7 Benjamin Shipp d. No. 10 Zander Lozano, 1up

No. 14 William Register d. No. 3 Joey Savoie, 3 & 2

No. 6 Chris Crawford d. No. 22 David Kocher, 2 & 1

Quarterfinals

June 30

No. 19 George Cunningham d. No. 9 Thomas Walsh, 2 & 1

No. 21 Andrew Whalen d. No. 20 Lloyd Jefferson Go, 3 & 2

No. 31 Tim Conover d. No. 7 Benjamin Shipp, 2up

No. 14 William Register d. No. 6 Chris Crawford, 3 & 2

Semifinals

July 1

No. 21 Andrew Whalen d. No. 19 George Cunningham 1 up

No. 31 Tim Conover d. No. 14 William Register 4 & 2

Championship

July 1

No. 31 Tim Conover d. No. 21 Andrew Whalen, 4 & 2

 

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Nothing comes easily for East Carolina’s Conover, who’s still standing at 116th North & South Amateur

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East Carolina’s Tim Conover had an exhausting day at the 116th North & South Amateur, but a triumphant one as well, advancing to the championship’s semifinals. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

After 39 holes of golf, Conover joins Cunningham, Whalen and Register in North & South semifinals

MATCH PLAY BRACKET

BY ALEX PODLOGAR

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – Tim Conover stood on the 18th green 1-up in his Round of 16 match. In front of him, Nick Hardy lined up a birdie putt that was eerily similar to the line Payne Stewart had to win the 1999 U.S. Open.

Hardy, who made the cut in the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay and qualified for the Open two weeks ago at Oakmont, came into the 116th North & South Amateur with one of the better pedigrees in the field.

Of course he made the putt.

That extended the match to extra holes, and made one thing abundantly clear – nothing was going to be easy for Conover.

“It was a loooooonnng day,” drawled the exhausted East Carolina junior, who outlasted Hardy with a birdie on the 21st hole before playing all 18 and holding off Drexel’s Chris Crawford to advance in the North & South on Thursday on Pinehurst No. 2. “I mean, really long.”

Conover, who needed to survive a 7-players-for-5-spots playoff just to get into the match play portion of the event, will carry the highest seed remaining – No. 31 out of a possible 32 – into Friday’s semifinals where he’ll face North Carolina’s William Register.

The semifinals will begin at 7 a.m. on Friday. The championship match will begin at noon. Spectators are encouraged to attend and follow the matches. There is no charge for admission.

“It means a whole lot,” Conover said of making it to the championship’s final day. “There are a lot of big names up there, going way back to Francis Ouimet and Jack Nicklaus. It’s a lot of history, but I can’t really think about that. I have to try to beat the course, beat whoever I’m playing.

“But it’d definitely be the biggest tournament I’ve ever won. I’ve never won something like this.”

The semifinals will begin at 7 a.m. on Friday. The championship match will begin at noon. Spectators are encouraged to attend and follow the matches. There is no charge for admission.

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It’s doubtful anything can rattle Conover at this point. After missing a 3-footer for par that would’ve beaten Hardy on the first extra hole, Conover made a 22-footer for birdie on the second and 20th hole of the match. But Hardy made his own 20-footer right on top of that, extending the match again.

The short par-4 3rd played as a drivable par-4, and Hardy went for hit, hitting a strong drive into the right greenside bunker. Conover put his iron back into his bag on the tee before pulling it out again and playing safely to the fairway. While Hardy’s bunker shot came up 15 feet short, Hardy buried a slick 8-footer down the hill to win the match, letting loose a triumphant fist pump to match the audible “YES!” that came as the ball dropped into the cup.

“I knew if I could beat Nick, I can beat anyone,” Conover said of the match.

Conover, who beat N.C. State recruit Benjamin Shipp 2-up in the quarterfinals, has been a giant killer in match play. In the Round of 32 on Wednesday, he stunned second-seeded Tyler McDaniel. Should he advance to the championship, Conover could face 2015 North & South runner-up George Cunningham.

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2015 North & South Amateur runner-up George Cunningham returns to the championship’s final day. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Cunningham, who fought a balky driver during stroke play, has seen his game round into form during match play. After a comfortable victory on Wednesday, Cunningham was nearly perfect in his match against medalist and top seed Stephen Franken. Until Thursday, no one had played better during the championship than N.C. State’s Franken, who at one point played 50 straight holes in 5 under. But Cunningham was relentless and cruised 4 & 3 in the Round of 16 match.

“I played flawlessly,” Cunningham said of the match. “I hit two bad drives and one bad iron shot, but I didn’t miss a putt I needed to make. I literally didn’t make a mistake.”

Cunningham, who missed much of his sophomore season at Arizona battling injuries, is seeing his game come together at Pinehurst. He played a spirited match with Virginia’s Thomas Walsh in the afternoon, prevailing 2 & 1 after a brilliant birdie on the 513-yard par-4 16th to return to the championship’s final day.

“It helps under pressure to know I can hit these shots, that I have hit these shots,” Cunningham said. “It’s such a great event, and coming so close last year, it would really feel good to win.”

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Northwestern’s Andrew Whalen was perhaps the day’s best player on Thursday in advancing to the North & South semifinals. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Cunningham would have to first get through Northwestern’s Andrew Whalen, who was perhaps the day’s best player on Thursday. Whalen dismantled Duke sophomore Alex Smalley 6 & 5 in the Round of 16, then built an early lead with three straight birdies and kept the pressure on to beat Big East Player of the Year Lloyd Jefferson Go of Seton Hall 3 & 2.

“I’ve always wanted to play in the North & South, and I finally got the chance,” said Whalen, who’s playing in his first championship at Pinehurst. “And now, here I am.”

Register will try to become one of a long history of Tar Heels golfers to hoist the Putter Boy trophy. Register, who beat the No. 3 seed Joey Savoie in the morning, enjoyed two rather comfortable victories, beating both Savoie and Crawford 3 & 2.

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North Carolina’s William Register is trying to join a distinguished line of Tar Heels champions in North & South history. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Register is hoping to join the likes of fellow North Carolina North & South champions such as Harvie Ward, Davis Love III and Jack Nicklaus II.

“It’s awesome here,” said Register, who’s playing his second North & South. “So many great people have won, it’s amazing. It’d be awesome to have my name right there.”

The Men’s North & South Amateur Championship is the longest consecutive-running amateur golf championship in the United States. Over the past century, the best in the golf world have vied for its coveted Putter Boy trophy. The winners now serve as legends in the game – Walter Travis, Ouimet, Billy Joe Patton, Nicklaus, Curtis Strange and Love III, among others – and continues to draw the best in amateur golf circles.

116th North & South Amateur

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club

Pinehurst No. 2

June 27-July 1

Round of 32

June 29

No. 1 Stephen Franken, Raleigh, N.C. d. No. 32 Cameron John, Ferntree Gully, Australia, 5 & 4

No. 17 George Cunningham d. No. 16 Ryan Troyer, Dover, Ohio, 3 & 1

No. 25 Brian Ohr, Wheeling, Ill. d. No. 8 Trevor Sluman, Pittsford, N.Y. 3 & 2

No. 9 Thomas Walsh, High Point, N.C. d. No. 24 A.J. Beechler, Pinehurst, N.C., 19 holes

No. 29 Gray Townsend, Winston-Salem, N.C. d. No. 4 Andre Garcia, Mansfield, Texas, 3 & 2

No. 20 Lloyd Jefferson Go, Philippines d. No. 13 Stoney Crouch, Mount Juliet, Tenn., 2 & 1

No. 5 Alex Smalley, Wake Forest, N.C. d. No. 28 Ryan Orr, Belleair, Fla., 1up

No. 21 Andrew Whalen, Ephrata, Wash. d. No. 12 Brandon Bauman, Las Vegas, Nev., 20 holes

No. 31 Tim Conover, Holly Springs, N.C. d. No. 2 Tyler McDaniel, Manchester, Ky., 2 & 1

No. 15 Nick Hardy, Northbrook, Ill. d. No. 18 Jonathan Brightwell, Charlotte, N.C., 4 & 3

No. 7 Benjamin Shipp, Duluth, Ga. d. No. 26 Daniel Wetterich, Cincinnati, Ohio, 6 & 5

No. 10 Zander Lozano, Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas d. No. 23 Chris Korte, Littleton, Colo., 3 & 2

No. 3 Joey Savoie, Saint Leo, Canada d. No. 30 Craig Hornberger, Lancaster, Pa., 1up

No. 14 William Register, Burlington, N.C. d. No. 19 Joshua Martin, Pinehurst, N.C., 1up

No. 6 Chris Crawford, Bensalem, Pa. d. No. 27 Ryan Cornfield, Spartanburg, S.C., 1up

No. 22 David Kocher, Charlotte N.C. d. No. 11 Cole Ray, Raleigh, N.C., 8 & 6

Round of 16

June 30

No. 17 George Cunningham d. No. 1 Stephen Franken, 4 & 3

No. 9 Thomas Walsh d. No. 25 Brian Ohr, 2 & 1

No. 20 Lloyd Jefferson Go d. No. 29 Gray Townsend, 2 & 1

No. 21 Andrew Whalen d. No. 5 Alex Smalley, 6 & 5

No. 31 Tim Conover d. No. 15 Nick Hardy, 21 holes

No. 7 Benjamin Shipp d. No. 10 Zander Lozano, 1up

No. 14 William Register d. No. 3 Joey Savoie, 3 & 2

No. 6 Chris Crawford d. No. 22 David Kocher, 2 & 1

Quarterfinals

June 30

No. 19 George Cunningham d. No. 9 Thomas Walsh, 2 & 1

No. 21 Andrew Whalen d. No. 20 Lloyd Jefferson Go, 3 & 2

No. 31 Tim Conover d. No. 7 Benjamin Shipp, 2up

No. 14 William Register d. No. 6 Chris Crawford, 3 & 2

Semifinals

July 1

No. 19 George Cunningham vs. No. 21 Andrew Whalen, 7 a.m.

No. 14 William Register vs. No. 31 Tim Conover, 7:10 a.m.

Championship

July 1

TBD, Noon

COURSE STATS

DAY 3 RECAP

ROUND 2 RECAP

ROUND 1 RECAP

 

 

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