The North and South Amateur is one of America’s most prestigious amateur events. It is the longest consecutively running amateur championship in the United States and boasts some of the greatest names in golf as its past champions.
One of the perks to winning the legendary tournament is not only possession of the coveted Putter Boy trophy, but also a permanent spot in the North and South Locker Room inside Pinehurst’s Resort Clubhouse. Here’s a look at some of the most distinguished lockers in the game of golf.
George C. Dutton won the first North and South in 1901, beating A.J. Wellington. A century later, as Pinehurst celebrated 100 years of the North and South, Dutton’s son George took part in the festivities.
Francis Quimet defeated Samuel J. Graham 5 & 4 to win in 1920, seven years after he won the 1913 U.S. Open and six years after the first of his two U.S. Amateur championships (1914, 1931). Considered one of the game’s great early players, Quimet was enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
George T. Dunlap, the 1933 U.S. Amateur champion, won seven North and South Amateurs, the most in tournament history.
Harvie Ward won the 1948 North and South with a 1-up victory over Frank Stranahan, who turned around and beat Ward in the 1949 Amateur 2 & 1, the same year Ward won the NCAA championship while at North Carolina. (Stranahan, a two-time British Amateur winner, won the North and South three times – 1946, 1949, 1952 – finishing as runner-up twice.) Ward won the U.S. Amateur twice (1955, 1956) and the British Amateur in 1952 and is the only golfer in history to have won the U.S., British and Canadian Amateurs in addition to an NCAA championship.
Billy Joe Patton is a North Carolina golfing legend, and won the North and South three times (1954, 1962, 1963) to go with two runner-up finishes. Patton, though, is best known for nearly winning The Masters in 1954. His final round 71 included a hole-in-one on the par-3 sixth and a double bogey on the par-5 13th after dumping his second shot into Rae’s Creek. He finished one shot out of a playoff with Sam Snead and Ben Hogan, who each won multiple North and South Opens in Pinehurst.
A few weeks before winning his first U.S. Amateur, Jack Nicklaus came to Pinehurst and won the 1959 North and South Amateur 1-up over Gene Andrews.
The rest is history.
Curtis Strange won the North and South Amateur twice, in 1975 and 1976, while starring on the Wake Forest National Championship team that Golf World called “the greatest of all time.” Strange won two U.S. Opens — also back-to-back in 1988-89 — won 17 times on the PGA Tour, was named the 1988 PGA Tour Player of the Year and led the PGA Tour Money List three times (1985, 1987, 1988). He was enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007.
Hal Sutton won the 1980 North and South by one of the largest margins in history, 12 & 10, over Kevin Walsh. Sutton had finished as runner-up two years before to two-time North and South winner and future PGA Tour foe Gary Hallberg. The 1983 PGA Tour Player of the Year, Sutton won 14 times on the PGA Tour. Sutton captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2004.
Corey Pavin won the 1981 North and South in another runaway, 11 & 10. His foe? The 1996 U.S. Open Champion Steve Jones. Pavin, of course, won the 1995 U.S. Open to go with 15 PGA Tour victories. Pavin was the PGA Tour Player of the Year in 1991 and was named the U.S. Ryder Cup Captain in 2010.
Davis Love III defeated future PGA Tour member and fellow University of North Carolina teammate John Inman 4 & 3 to capture the 1984 North and South Amateur. Love went on to win 20 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1997 PGA Championship. Love will be the captain of the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Kelly Mitchum won the 1993 North and South with a 3 & 2 win over Ron Whitaker. Mitchum, a star at the time at N.C. State, has played in numerous PGA Tour events, including four PGA Championships. A dedicated teaching pro at Pinehurst Resort, Mitchum looks back fondly on winning the North and South. “To be able to come to work and see my name on the wall in the Resort Club, that’s really special,” he says.
Peter Williamson is the latest to have his name added to the prestigious locker room of golf greats. Williamson, the three-time Ivy League Player of the Year at Dartmouth, beat Thomas Bradshaw 4 & 3 to capture the title in the 112th playing of the event, setting off a brilliant summer in which Williamson later won the Southern Amateur and recorded high finishes in the Western Amateur and U.S. Amateur.