Pinehurst News

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

Easton Paxton (853x1280)

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.

Christina Parsells (853x1280)

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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Add fishing to your Pinehurst experience

120-acre private Richmond Hill Lake is world-known for bass and bluegill fishing.

Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or a novice angler, a day on the water at the King Fisher Society is a great way to add a little adventure to your Pinehurst trip. 

The one-of-a-kind fishery and nature preserve is home to Richmond Mill Lake, one of the elite bluegill and bass fishing sites in the world. Tucked away in the Sandhills of North Carolina, it’s just 30 minutes from Pinehurst.

Pinehurst guests can enjoy half a day with a dedicated fishing guide on the 120-acre lake described by The Texas Sporting Journal as “one of the top destinations in the United States for anyone who loves fishing.”

"Once we even doubled on bluegills, with a pair of two plus-pound slabsides in the net at once.”  -Mike Altizer, Sporting Classics“We feel like Pinehurst and King Fisher Society are kindred spirits. Pinehurst offers the absolute best golf in North America and we feel like we offer the best fishing in North America,” says Jim Morgan, King Fisher Society’s president and chief executive officer. “The fact that we’re so close in proximity makes it a natural partnership.”

“The service and expertise at King Fisher Society is exceptional, and we are delighted to be able to offer our guests an opportunity to add such a tremendous experience to their visit to Pinehurst,” says Pinehurst President Tom Pashley. “Richmond Mill Lake is nationally recognized for its unparalleled excellence, and its natural, beautiful setting creates an incredible atmosphere for a special day on the water.”

“Fishing is more fun if you’re catching fish and fishing is even more fun when you’re catching big fish.”
– Jim Morgan, President of
King Fisher Society

Protected from the fishing pressure placed on most waterways, Richmond Mill Lake is family-owned and carefully managed by renowned biologist Bob Lusk, ensuring angling in a peaceful and beautiful environment. The area was recently named as one of the “50 Great American Places to Visit” by Men’s Journal and is known for its status as a world-class fishery for bluegill and bass.

“Recently, a guy caught two Richmond Mill bluegills larger than three pounds,” says Lusk. “Those are quickly becoming a huge reason to visit King Fisher and are garnering national attention, much more than the fantastic bass fishing. This bluegill fishery is snowballing into something which could be significant in the fishing world. The difference between a normal 8- or 9-inch bluegill that weighs half a pound and these 3-foot-long monsters is like comparing a paper airplane to a fighter jet. Try to rein in a fighter jet on 4-pound-test line on an ultralight.” Enjoy a 1/2 day fishing with an experienced guide.

It is an experience unlike any other.

“Fishing is more fun if you’re catching fish and fishing is even more fun when you’re catching big fish,” Morgan says. “Here, it’s totally unique. On a public reservoir, you’ll never be able to catch the size of fish and the volume of fish you can catch at Richmond Mill Lake.”

For additional information, including rates, click here. This package is available during July and August only and may be reserved by calling 800.487-4653.

           

 

 

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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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Pinehurst celebrates Independence Day

At Pinehurst, we celebrate Fourth of July in a big way.

That’s why you’ll see 24 American flags flying atop the main clubhouse. It’s a sight that will fill you with pride and patriotism. If you can’t stop by to see them this weekend, check out some of our photos.

 

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