Pinehurst Tournaments Archive

Stephenson builds lead as Pinehurst No. 2 shows its teeth in Women’s North & South

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Clemson recruit Lauren Stephenson leads the 113th Women’s North & South Amateur by five strokes.

Tough playing conditions has players believing No. 2’s U.S. Open reputation

By Alex Podlogar

SCORES

GROUPINGS

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – While the Women’s North & South Amateur typically gives everyone a glimpse of the future of women’s golf, most of the top players themselves couldn’t help but think about the past during the second round on Tuesday.

A U.S. Open-style setup makes for a good history lesson.

With Pinehurst No. 2 again showing its teeth, no player finished under par for the second straight day at the 113th Women’s North & South Amateur, allowing Lauren Stephenson’s two-day total of 2-over par 142 to leave the Clemson recruit in control with a five-shot lead over 2014 North & South runner-up Lori Beth Adams.

“I hit a few bad shots, but that’s going to happen out here,” said Stephenson, who shared the first-round lead with Adams after the pair carded even-par 70s on Monday. “You’re not going to be perfect the whole time. My plan on the back nine was when I got in trouble to take the big number out of play and just go for bogey. Making bogey out here isn’t bad.

“Overall I’m thrilled.”

Playing nearly as long it did for the U.S. Women’s Open in June 2014 and with many of the same hole locations, No. 2 played to a stroke average of around 79 for the second consecutive round. The 91-player field has yet to collectively card 100 birdies – the field has just 95 birdies among its players over two rounds – to go with a staggering 585 bogeys.

Those conditions had many players thinking about No. 2 at its best. … Continue Reading

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A runner-up a year ago, Adams returns to Pinehurst – and to the top of the leaderboard

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A year ago, Lori Beth Adams (right) was the runner-up to Alison Lee in the Women’s North & South Amateur. After the first round on Monday, Adams shares the lead.

Adams cards an even-par 70 to share North & South lead with Lauren Stephenson

By Alex Podlogar

SCORES

PAIRINGS

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – At the 2014 Women’s North & South Amateur, Lori Beth Adams stood on the 17th tee of the championship match with a 1-up lead.

But Alison Lee, the reigning college player of the year and now a rising star rookie on the LPGA Tour, rallied to win in 19 holes, and now it’s Lee’s photo and Lee’s name on the walls in the Pinehurst Resort Clubhouse.

A year later, though, it’s Adams’ name at the top of the leaderboard.

On a brutal day for scoring on venerable Pinehurst No. 2, Adams made four birdies to card an even-par 70 to share the lead with Lauren Stephenson after the first round of the 113th Women’s North & South Amateur on Monday.

Adams, a graduate of UNC-Wilmington, is playing in her sixth North & South event. In a sense, Pinehurst has become something of a summer home for her. … Continue Reading

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Meet the Contenders for the 113th Women’s North & South Amateur

Alison Lee, N&S 2014 Championship (2) (991x1280)

Alison Lee won the 2014 Women’s North & South Amateur and just a year later, is the front-runner for the LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year.

By Alex Podlogar        

PAIRINGS

SCORES

Nine of the last 12.

Think about that for a second.

Nine of the last 12.

75 percent.

Nine of the last 12 North & South Women’s Amateur champions have drawn paychecks as members of the LPGA Tour. The equation is near perfect. Win the North & South Am, go on to professional success at the highest level.

After that championship lineage took a minor break a couple of years ago to allow Ally McDonald to put the finishing touches on an All-American collegiate career at Mississippi State, the link between the North & South and the LPGA Tour was back in lockstep in 2014.

Just weeks after the U.S. Women’s Open wrapped on Pinehurst No. 2, the top collegiate player in the country, UCLA freshman Alison Lee edged Lori Beth Adams over 19 holes to win the 112th Women’s North & South Amateur. A couple of months after that, Lee, the inaugural winner of the Annika Award, named after Annika Sorenstam for the top college player of the year, turned pro after winning LPGA Tour Qualifying School. And in May, Lee nearly won for the first time on the LPGA Tour when she finished third at the Kingsmill Championship. She’s already won nearly $300,000 on Tour this season.

The 113th Women’s North & South Amateur returns to Pinehurst No. 2 for all five days, with three rounds of stroke play beginning on Monday. The top 16 seeds from stroke play will advance to match play, and the championship will be decided on July 17.

One last note: nine former North & South Women’s Amateur champions are competing in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open this week. North & South champions are among the legends of the game: Babe Zaharias, Louise Suggs, Peggy Kirk Bell, Hollis Stacey, Brandie Burton, Brittany Lang, Morgan Pressel and Yani Tseng.

So, who might win the 113th 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 Ally McDonald in 2013.) … Continue Reading

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Paxton, Parsells win 37th Junior North & South Amateurs at Pinehurst

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Easton Paxton wins the 37th Junior Boys North & South Amateur. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

By Alex Podlogar

Boys’ Scores

Girls’ Scores

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – You won’t find Easton Paxton near the top of any junior golf rankings. After all, for 6 months out of the year, he doesn’t touch a golf club.

Part of that has to do with his hometown being in Riverton, Wyoming. But, put more simply, Paxton would rather play basketball in the winter anyway.

It sure isn’t hurting his golf game.

Paxton shot a 6-under-par 208 over three rounds at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, including a solid 2-over 72 in the final round on famed Pinehurst No. 2, to win the 37th Junior Boys’ North & South Amateur Championship on Wednesday.

“It’s really special,” said Paxton. “I’ve come close in some big events like this a lot, but I’ve never been able to get it done all the way.

“I played solid all week, but I really started to feel it at the end. I didn’t finish as strong as I’d like to, but I learned a lot about myself. I’m just very blessed to be here.”

Paxton’s ranking has less to do with his golf game and more with the few events he’s played thus far this season. The 16-year-old has turned heads before, though, including former PGA Tour veteran David Ogrin, whom Paxton beat by five shots after a 66 in a U.S. Open local qualifier in 2014.

“I don’t know if I saw the next Tiger Woods,” Ogrin told Golf Digest’s Ron Sirak last summer, “but I think I saw the next Jordan Spieth.”

Paxton was brilliant for much of the North & South, opening the tournament with a pair of 4-under 68s on Pinehurst No. 8 and Pinehurst No. 5, respectively, to build a four-shot lead entering the final round.

For a while, Paxton continued that eye-opening play on Donald Ross’s crown jewel, playing the front 9 of the course that hosted the 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in 2 under.

But Paxton – admittedly, he would add – began to get tight near the end of the round. Bogeys on 15 and 17 sandwiched a double bogey, and he needed a clean 18th hole to hold onto the championship.

“I wasn’t nervous on 18; by then I decided to just trust my swing and myself,” Paxton said. “But before that? Yes, I was nervous.”

Paxton won by two shots over Atkinson, North Carolina’s Blake Taylor (70-69-71-210) and by three over Daniel Wetterich (69-70-72-211), of Cincinnati.

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Christina Parsells wins the 37th Junior Girls’ North & South Amateur at Pinehurst. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Georgetown-bound Christina Parsells won the 37th Junior Girls’ North & South Amateur, but not before it seemed like she had given it away.

Parsells, who led by a single stroke entering the final round on Pinehurst No. 5, made a double bogey on the par-5 17th just moments after Dominique Galloway made her fifth birdie of the day on the same hole.

But while Parsells managed to make a clean par on the 18th hole, Galloway made her own double bogey, and the two-shot swing enabled Parsells to hold the coveted Putter Boy trophy.

“This is pretty special,” Parsells said of the victory. “It’s amazing to think about all the great names who have won here.”

Parsells, of Bernardsville, New Jersey, finished at 3-over 219 with her best playing coming on the front 9 of Pinehurst No. 2 in the opening round on Monday. Parsells had five birdies between 3 and 9 and made the turn in 3 under. An even par back 9 gave her a 3-under 69 on the famed course.

Galloway, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, started the day five strokes back in a tie for fifth. Her 3-under 69 fell one shot short on Pinehurst No. 5.

Both Paxton and Parsells will be honored at Pinehurst by having their names emblazoned in bronze on the Perpetual Wall in the Resort Clubhouse.

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Sean Walsh wins the 115th North & South Amateur

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Sean Walsh stands with the coveted Putter Boy trophy after winning the 115th North & South Amateur Championship on Pinehurst No. 2. (Photo by Sarah Campbell)

Walsh defeats medalist and top seed George Cunningham 3 & 1 on Pinehurst No. 2

Match Play Bracket

By Alex Podlogar

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – If you only followed the top half of the North & South field last year, you likely missed Sean Walsh. And he wouldn’t blame you.

“Oh, we made a trip last year,” Walsh said of his first appearance in the North & South. “We didn’t really play golf. I don’t know what that was called.”

A pair of 76s meant Walsh’s trip from the Pacific Northwest was a short one; the Gonzaga golfer didn’t even make the 36-hole cut.

But, even in his first, albeit brief, visit to Pinehurst, Walsh learned something – something very valuable when it comes to golf at Pinehurst.

“It was a lot thinking you could hit a shot like…Say, you have a back-left pin,” Walsh explained. “I learned my lesson very quickly as far as when I came back: if you have a back-left pin, you don’t hit it at the back-left pin.

Walsh took that advice to heart throughout the week on Donald Ross’ legendary Pinehurst No. 2, playing a masterful round of golf to beat George Cunningham 3 & 1 to win the 115th North & South Amateur Championship on Friday afternoon. … Continue Reading

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