Pinehurst Tournaments Archive

Trio of youngsters lead after first round of 115th Women’s North & South Amateur

Cary’s Jennifer Chang shares the lead after the first round of the 115th Women’s North & South Amateur.

Scores

Tee Times

By Stan Cole

PINEHURST, N.C. – In a field full of top collegiate talent, two of the younger players finished Monday’s opening round in a 3-way tie atop the leaderboard in the 115th North & South Women’s Amateur at Pinehurst No. 2.

Jennifer Chang of Cary and Yujeong Son of Norman, Okla., finished at even-par 71 along with Valerie Tanguay of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec.  Aneka Seumanutafa of Emmitsburg, Md., who won last week’s North & South Junior Girls Championship, is in fourth place at one-over-par 72.

The top 32 players in the 90-golfer field after Tuesday’s second round will advance to the match play portion of the event.

Playing in hot and muggy conditions on the historic Donald Ross design that stretched to 6,332 yards, no one in the field finished in red numbers Monday.

Defending Women’s North & South Champion Kristen Gillman enjoyed a solid round returning to Pinehurst No. 2 on Monday.

Defending champion Kristen Gillman of Austin, Texas, is one of seven players in a tie for fifth place at 2-over-par 73.  Thirty-six individuals finished the day at 6 over or better on a day that produced nearly five times as many bogeys (504) than birdies (115).

A semifinalist in the 2016 North & South, Chang was the first player to sign for an even-par round on the day.  Her approach on the par-4 18th hit the flag stick to leave her 20 feet, which she two-putted for par.

“I only made a few errors, those three bogeys, but I came back with three birdies and overall I was really happy with my round,” said Chang, who has verbally committed to play at Southern Cal.  “You don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself because at No. 2; you never know what can happen. You can go from making birdie to making triple (bogey) at any time.”

Son, who is just 16, but has won the last three Oklahoma State Women’s Amateur Championships, was in shape to hold the lead before a double-bogey on her final hole of the day, the par-3 9th.  Starting from the 10th tee, she made eagle when she holed out from 128 yards on the par-4 13th, and stood at 3-under through 14 holes before making bogey on the par-3 6th.

“Honestly, it was good, but it wasn’t great. I had some mistakes, but covered up with long birdie putts,” said Son, who had four birdies and the eagle.  “You have to keep it in play, and not mess up too much on the putting because the greens are really hard out here.”

Tanguay, who plays collegiately at Oklahoma, also started from the 10th tee, and was 2 over through six, but birdied the par-5 16th.  She played bogey-free golf over her final 12 holes – mixing in a birdie on the par-4 7th, to finish even.

“My irons were solid. My driver was not, but even if I was in the bunker, I was able to manage it, bring it on the greens and make two-putts,” said Tanguay. “You have to be really patient, not to get frustrated if you make a bad shot.”

Aneka Seumanutafa won the Girls’ Junior North & South last week and is contending again this week.

Seumanutafa was 3 over through her first six holes, but made four birdies over the next five holes and finished her round at 1 over.

“I struggled the first three holes, but brought it back,” said the 2016 Maryland Junior Girls Amateur champ. “Winning the Junior North & South actually boosted my confidence coming into this week. I shot low here last week, so I know I can compete with all these college girls out here.”

One year after winning the 2016 North & South, Gillman was even through 10 holes Monday, but did not let three bogeys in a four-hole span spoil the day. She birdied the 478-yard 16th to finish at 2 over.

“It’s definitely really cool to be the defending champion, but I didn’t feel any extra pressure out there,” said Gillman, who plays at Alabama and won the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur.  “Today I made a lot of pars. I had the three bogeys and one birdie, but it was pretty steady. I hit most of my greens, kept it in the right places and had a lot of easy par putts.”

The Women’s North & South Amateur is the longest consecutively running amateur championship in the United States. 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, four of whom have won major championships – Pressel, Tseng and Lang, who won the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open. 2011 Women’s North & South Champion Danielle Kang won her first major championship recently at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

The Women’s North & South has drawn the top amateur women from around the country and is the longest consecutively running women’s amateur championship in the country. Its first championship was played in 1903.

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Seumanutafa, Galdin win prestigious Junior North & South championships

 

Aneka Seumanutafa won the 39th Girls North & South Junior Championship at Pinehurst on Wednesday. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

By Alex Podlogar             

Scores

PINEHURST, North Carolina – Aneka Seumanutafa didn’t want to put her Putter Boy trophy down.

She had carried it from the Pinehurst parking lot, through the clubhouse, out the doors onto the veranda and then up a ridge overlooking the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2 to have her champions photo shot after winning the 39th Girls North & South Junior Championship on Wednesday.

She held the trophy close while the photographer snapped portraits, and finally, when told she could rest a moment and put it down, Seumanutafa deferred.

“No thanks,” she said, a smile still painted on her face. “I’d like to keep holding it.”

Seumanutafa can’t be blamed for not wanting the let the moment go. After all, she had worked incredibly hard for the chance at Pinehurst history.

After three rounds of stroke play, with the first round on No. 2 and the second and third rounds on No. 6, Seumanutafa was 13 under par – and 13 shots ahead of third place.

She was also tied with Brooke Sansom and headed to a playoff.

“We just kept pushing each other for three days,” Seumanutafa said. “We played together in the second and third rounds, and it seemed like she would make a birdie, and then I would make a birdie.”

They both made birdie on the 18th hole of No. 6 to share the lead after 54 holes. Both players shot 67 in the final round, with Seumanutafa shooting 31 on her last nine and Samson closing in 30.

But Seumanutafa, 16, from Frederick, Maryland, made birdie again on the 18th to finally edge Sansom, of Montgomery, Alabama, who will play collegiately at Auburn.

It’s not Seumanutafa’s first trip to Pinehurst. She played in the Women’s North & South Amateur last year and played in numerous U.S. Kids events in the area as well. Seumanutafa will also play the Women’s North & South Amateur again this year. That tournament begins on Monday.

“This really boosted my confidence,” she said. “It’s a really tough tournament and field, but now I feel like I can compete with a lot of the players.”

And for Seumanutafa, a native of Hawaii, winning at Pinehurst was extra special.

“What do I think of when I think of Pinehurst? Payne Stewart, and of course, Michelle Wie,” she said.

Lino Galdin won the 39th Boys North & South Junior Championship in Pinehurst on Wednesday. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Mercer recruit and French native Lino Galdin fired a 4-under 68 on Pinehurst No. 8 on Wednesday to hold off a charge by Cole Ponich to win the 39th Boys’ North & South Junior Championship at Pinehurst.

Ponich eagled the par-5 17th hole and made birdie on the difficult 18th, but it wasn’t enough to catch Galdin, who also shot 68 on No. 8 in the championship’s first round and then followed with a 71 on No. 2 on Tuesday.

“I just love it here,” Galdin said. “To have won at such a prestigious venue like Pinehurst means so much to me. This is definitely my biggest win.”

Galdin, who moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina, two years ago, is a decorated junior player. In 2016, he finished among the top 10 eight times in 15 tournaments, and in 2015, he won three times.

Both Seumanutafa and Galdin are now eligible to play in the 2018 Women’s and Men’s North & South Amateur championships, respectively.

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William Nottingham wins 117th North & South Amateur

William Nottingham is the 117th North & South Amateur Champion. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Nottingham rallies to prevail with par saves and brilliant 17th; Runner-Up Anstiss receives call from fellow Kiwi and 2005 U.S. Open Champion Michael Campbell

Bracket

By Alex Podlogar

PINEHURST, North Carolina – In recent Pinehurst history, the 17th hole of Pinehurst No. 2 has played a pivotal part in identifying its newest champion.

On Sunday in the 1999 U.S. Open, Payne Stewart made his birdie putt moments after Phil Mickelson missed his, giving Stewart a critical one-shot edge heading to the 18th tee.

At the 2005 U.S. Open, Tiger Woods’ Sunday charge was officially stalled after a bogey preceded a clutch birdie by Michael Campbell – more on Campbell later – at 17.

And in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, Michelle Wie essentially clinched her first major championship by holing a slick putt that rode the ridge down the spine of 17’s treacherous green.

None of those shots, though, might’ve been better than William Nottingham’s in the championship match of the 117th North & South Amateur on Friday.

Moments after sinking a perilous 8-foot par putt on 16 to halve the hole right after opponent James Anstiss had made his own 9-footer for par, Nottingham arched a high 6 iron against the darkening sky and watched as the ball settled softly on the green and slid just inches by the cup, coming at rest 4 feet above the hole.

William Nottingham pumps his fist as rain begins to fall after making a crucial birdie on the 17th hole of Pinehurst No. 2 during the championship match of the 117th North & South Amateur. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

While Anstiss himself hit a nice tee shot to about 12 feet – reminiscent of Mickelson’s answer to Stewart – Anstiss couldn’t will his sidewinding attempt to fall. Nottingham, though, managed to nestle his putt into the hole, taking his first lead of the match.

A brief rain delay and a bit of a mess of the 18th hole later, No. 2’s 17th again proved to be the difference as Nottingham, of Kingsport, Tennessee, rallied from 2-down at the turn to beat Anstiss, of New Zealand, 1 up.

“This tournament means a lot, for sure,” Nottingham said. “Reading about all of the people who have won this tournament, to go into the locker room and see all the cool names who have won this tournament, it’s just really special for me to be a part of that and to have my name on the wall with some of those people.”

Nottingham battled his driver throughout the championship match, but managed to not only recover with crucial par putts, but also fight his way back into the match because of them. While Anstiss lost his lead by failing to get up and down at critical points, Nottingham made big par putt after big par putt, starting with a 10-footer on 9 that kept him 2 down, and culminating with the biggest one on 16.

James Anstiss hits an approach shot during the championship match of the 117th North & South Amateur on Friday at Pinehurst No. 2. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Nottingham credited a methodical alignment approach that he only recently went back to as making the difference on No. 2’s storied greens.

“I had changed up my putting a little bit, lining up the ball the way I used to,” he said. “I noticed early in the week that, ‘Dang, I’m reading these greens really well.’ So I knew if I could just hit my spots and get good speed on it, I knew I could make a good amount of putts.”

As rain began to pour down after Nottingham’s birdie on 17, both players fanned their drives well to the right of the 18th fairway. Walking to their balls, tournament officials suspended play to wait out about a 15-minute downpour.

 “Us Kiwis, it’s one of our favorite hunting grounds, Pinehurst is,” Campbell could be heard telling Anstiss. “Look at the big picture here – it’s a stepping stone to your career. It’s a great start. Learn from your mistakes because, as you know with golf or any sporting career, you’re going to fall down. That’s just the way it is.”

Neither player had much of a shot into the 18th, though Anstiss managed to place his ball a few yards short of the green. Nottingham’s approached actually struck the lip of the bunker, but he found the middle of the green with his third shot.

Anstiss made a nice pitch to about 4 feet above the cup on 18, and when Nottingham couldn’t connect from about 40 feet, Anstiss had a chance to send the match into extra holes with a par. But his putt slid by on the right edge, and Nottingham, a rising sophomore at Clemson, was the 117th North & South Champion.

“Obviously it wasn’t the result I wanted,” Anstiss said, “but I can take a lot from this going forward. It’s a great stepping stone in my career.”

Anstiss, a native of New Zealand who spent much of his time in Pinehurst admiring the photographs and memorabilia of Campbell’s 2005 triumph in the clubhouse’s hall, received a call from the fellow Kiwi following the match. Campbell had been following the match on Twitter from Spain, hoping to add Anstiss to a Kiwi-Pinehurst connection that includes Danny Lee’s win at the 2008 U.S. Amateur.

“Us Kiwis, it’s one of our favorite hunting grounds, Pinehurst is,” Campbell could be heard telling Anstiss. “Look at the big picture here – it’s a stepping stone to your career. It’s a great start. Learn from your mistakes because, as you know with golf or any sporting career, you’re going to fall down. That’s just the way it is.”

Anstiss was moved by the call.

“That was pretty awesome, and pretty unexpected,” Anstiss said. “That’s not a bad consolation prize. Michael just told me to keep my head high and focus on all of the positives of the week.”

“New Zealand has never stood out as a golfing nation, but having a major champion, to see his memorabilia up there at a place like Pinehurst, is just so special,” Anstiss added. “For me to say I’m from the same country, it’s a pretty big deal.”

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

117th North & South Amateur Championship

Pinehurst No. 2

June 28, 2017

Round of 32 

No. 32 Zachary Bauchou d. No. 1 Cameron Champ, 3&1

No. 16 Austin Squires d. No. 17 Chase Hanna, 1up

No. 8 Spencer Soosman d. No. 25 Austin Hitt, 1up

No. 9 Christopher Crawford d. No. 24 Andrew Huseman, 4&2

No. 29 Eric Bae d. No. 4 Jonathan Hardee, 1up

No. 13 Ty Strafaci d. No. 20 William Register, 19 holes

No. 28 Zander Lozano d. No. 5 Ryan Dornes, 2&1

No. 12 James Anstiss d. No. 21 Michael Feagles, 3&1

No. 2 Manuel Torres d. No. 31 Brandon Bauman, 19 holes

No. 18 Chris Petefish d. No. 15 Tim Conover, 19 holes

No. 26 Matthew Wetterich d. No. 7 Josh Martin, 1up

No. 23 William Nottingham d. No. 10 Ricky Castillo, 4&3

No. 30 Trace Travis d. No. 3 Ben Wong, 4&2

No. 19 Peter Knade d. No. 14 Thomas Eldridge, 4&3

No. 6 Alex Smalley d. No. 27 Keegan Hoff, 4&3

No. 11 Will Grimmer d. No. 22 Patrick Fishburn, 3&2

Round of 16

June 28, 2017

No. 16 Austin Squires d. No. 32 Zach Bachou, 3&1

No. 8 Spencer Soosman d. No. 9 Christopher Crawford, 19 holes

No. 13 Ty Strafaci d. No. 29 Eric Bae, 19 holes

No. 12 James Anstiss d. No. 28 Zander Lozano, 2&1

No. 18 Chris Petefish d. No. 2 Manuel Torres, 20 holes

No. 23 William Nottingham d. No. 26 Matthew Wetterich, 4&3

No. 30 Trace Travis d. No. 19 Peter Knade 2&1

No. 6 Alex Smalley d. No. 11 Will Grimmer, 2&1

Quarterfinals

No. 16 Austin Squires d. No. 8 Spencer Soosman, 1up

No. 12 James Anstiss d. No. 13 Ty Strafaci, 4&3

No. 23 William Nottingham d. No. 18 Chris Petefish, 4&3

No. 6 Alex Smalley d. No. 30 Trace Travis, 19 holes

Semifinals

Thursday, June 29, 2017

No. 12 James Anstiss d. No. 16 Austin Squires, 6 & 5

No. 23 William Nottingham d. No. 6 Alex Smalley, 22 holes

Championship

Friday, June 30

No. 23 William Nottingham  d. No. 12 James Antiss, 1up

 

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Marveling at Past Pinehurst Champions, Anstiss and Nottingham Hope to Join Elite Company

James Anstiss, of New Zealand, plays from a bunker on Pinehurst No. 2 during his quarterfinal match in the 117th North & South Amateur on Thursday. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Finalists Anstiss, of New Zealand, has a hero in Michael Campbell while Nottingham is amazed by list of past North & South champions

Bracket

By Alex Podlogar

PINEHURST, North Carolina – James Anstiss had to see it.

Moments after arriving in Pinehurst for the 117th North & South Amateur early this week, Anstiss walked into the History Hallway of Pinehurst’s famed clubhouse. He didn’t go to marvel at the North & South wall and envision his name in bronze with so many of the game’s greats, like most North & South players do. No, when Anstiss walked in, he looked left instead of right.

And he found what he was looking for:

The memorabilia of Michael Campbell’s triumph in the 2005 U.S. Open and Danny Lee’s shadowbox from his victory in the 2008 U.S. Amateur.

The 117th North & South Amateur Championship will be played at 7 a.m. on Friday on No. 2. Spectators are welcome to attend and follow the match and admission is free.

“I know it can be hard for Americans to understand, but for a kid from New Zealand, where we don’t have a long golf history, to see Michael Campbell’s photos displayed on the wall and to look at Danny Lee’s 7-iron and scorecard from the U.S. Amateur, it’s just massive,” said Anstiss, who, like Campbell and Lee, is a native of New Zealand. “It’s a bit surreal to think about. New Zealand has never stood out as a golfing nation, but having a major champion, to see his memorabilia up there at a place like Pinehurst, is just so special. For me to say I’m from the same country, it’s a pretty big deal.”

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Anstiss hopes to keep that Kiwi connection alive on Pinehurst No. 2 after winning decisively in his quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Thursday to advance to the championship final against Clemson’s William Nottingham, who outlasted Duke’s Alex Smalley in 22 holes.

The 117th North & South Amateur Championship will be played at 7 a.m. on Friday on No. 2. Spectators are welcome to attend and follow the match and admission is free.

“I know it can be hard for Americans to understand, but for a kid from New Zealand, where we don’t have a long golf history, to see Michael Campbell’s photos displayed on the wall and to look at Danny Lee’s 7-iron and scorecard from the U.S. Amateur, it’s just massive.” – James Anstiss

Whether, though, those spectators will see a match reach the 18th hole is pure conjecture at this point. The 12th-seeded Anstiss, who just graduated from Southeast Louisiana and won the 2016 Louisiana Amateur, won comfortably in both the Round of 32 and Round of 16 on Wednesday. But he steamrolled his opponents on Thursday, beating No. 13 seed Ty Strafaci 4&3 in the morning quarterfinal match before dispatching No. 16 seed Austin Squires 6&5 in the afternoon’s semifinal.

Anstiss hasn’t played No. 2’s 18th hole since the second round of stroke play on Tuesday.

“I was able to put a lot of pressure on my opponents today,” said Anstiss, who put five approach shots within 10 feet of the hole location against Squires, leading to five birdies in just 13 holes.

Clemson sophomore William Nottingham is a veteran of the North & South Junior, and advances to the championship match in his first Men’s North & South Amateur appearance. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Nottingham, too, had cruised through match play into the semifinals, and hadn’t played 16, 17 or 18 since Tuesday’s stroke play.

Then he ran into Smalley, who took a 1-up lead to the 18th tee after Nottingham had 3-putted the par-3 17th from 15 feet.

“That was a rough 3-putt,” Nottingham said.

But while Smalley fanned his drive well right of the fairway and into the wire grass on 18, Nottingham split the fairway and hit a beautiful approach shot to about 8 feet on 18. Facing a similar but shorter putt than Payne Stewart had to win the 1999 U.S. Open, Nottingham’s attempt slid by, but after a bogey from Smalley, the match continued.

From there both players matched each other shot for shot, both making birdie on the short par-4 3rd to move on to the 22nd hole. Smalley, though, pulled his drive well left and under a tree, and Nottingham hit his approach to the back fringe. His 30-foot birdie attempt stopped about 7 feet short of the cup, but Nottingham rolled this one in to win the match and advance to the final.

“Everything about this tournament is special,. I went into the North & South Locker Room one day and just looked at all the lockers. I had to take a picture of Francis Ouimet’s locker. I mean, that’s crazy. Francis Ouimet won this tournament. The history here is just crazy to think about.” -William Nottingham

Now the Clemson sophomore finds himself one match away from history. And like Anstiss, he too has taken his time wandering the halls of Pinehurst.

“Everything about this tournament is special,” Nottingham said. “I went into the North & South Locker Room one day and just looked at all the lockers. I had to take a picture of Francis Ouimet’s locker. I mean, that’s crazy. Francis Ouimet won this tournament. The history here is just crazy to think about.”

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

117th North & South Amateur Championship

Pinehurst No. 2

June 28, 2017

Round of 32 

No. 32 Zachary Bauchou d. No. 1 Cameron Champ, 3&1

No. 16 Austin Squires d. No. 17 Chase Hanna, 1up

No. 8 Spencer Soosman d. No. 25 Austin Hitt, 1up

No. 9 Christopher Crawford d. No. 24 Andrew Huseman, 4&2

No. 29 Eric Bae d. No. 4 Jonathan Hardee, 1up

No. 13 Ty Strafaci d. No. 20 William Register, 19 holes

No. 28 Zander Lozano d. No. 5 Ryan Dornes, 2&1

No. 12 James Anstiss d. No. 21 Michael Feagles, 3&1

No. 2 Manuel Torres d. No. 31 Brandon Bauman, 19 holes

No. 18 Chris Petefish d. No. 15 Tim Conover, 19 holes

No. 26 Matthew Wetterich d. No. 7 Josh Martin, 1up

No. 23 William Nottingham d. No. 10 Ricky Castillo, 4&3

No. 30 Trace Travis d. No. 3 Ben Wong, 4&2

No. 19 Peter Knade d. No. 14 Thomas Eldridge, 4&3

No. 6 Alex Smalley d. No. 27 Keegan Hoff, 4&3

No. 11 Will Grimmer d. No. 22 Patrick Fishburn, 3&2

Round of 16

June 28, 2017

No. 16 Austin Squires d. No. 32 Zach Bachou, 3&1

No. 8 Spencer Soosman d. No. 9 Christopher Crawford, 19 holes

No. 13 Ty Strafaci d. No. 29 Eric Bae, 19 holes

No. 12 James Anstiss d. No. 28 Zander Lozano, 2&1

No. 18 Chris Petefish d. No. 2 Manuel Torres, 20 holes

No. 23 William Nottingham d. No. 26 Matthew Wetterich, 4&3

No. 30 Trace Travis d. No. 19 Peter Knade 2&1

No. 6 Alex Smalley d. No. 11 Will Grimmer, 2&1

Quarterfinals

Thursday, June 29, 2017

No. 16 Austin Squires d. No. 8 Spencer Soosman, 1up

No. 12 James Anstiss d. No. 13 Ty Strafaci, 4&3

No. 23 William Nottingham d. No. 18 Chris Petefish, 4&3

No. 6 Alex Smalley d. No. 30 Trace Travis, 19 holes

Semifinals

Thursday, June 29, 2017

No. 12 James Anstiss d. No. 16 Austin Squires, 6 & 5

No. 23 William Nottingham d. No. 6 Alex Smalley, 22 holes

Championship

Friday, June 30

No. 12 James Antiss vs. No. 23 William Nottingham , 7 a.m.

 

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Ty Strafaci Hopes to Become First Grandfather-Grandson Pairing to Win the North & South Amateur

Georgia Tech’s Ty Strafaci

Ty Strafaci advances to the quarterfinals of the 117th North & South, a championship his grandfather Frank won twice, in 1938 and 1939.

Bracket

By Alex Podlogar

PINEHURST, North Carolina – Ty Strafaci never met his grandfather.

But he may never have been as close to him as he is right now.

Strafaci won two 19-hole matches on a grueling day at the 117th North & South Amateur on Pinehurst No. 2 on Wednesday, advancing to the quarterfinals of the championship that his grandfather Frank Strafaci won twice, in 1938 and 1939.

“I never got to meet him,” Strafaci said after a birdie on the first hole finally was enough to beat Pinehurst native Eric Bae in the Round of 16. “But I’ve seen pictures of him. Actually, I’ve seen a lot of pictures of him here.”

Few tournaments can match the storied history of the North & South Amateur. It is the longest consecutively-running amateur championship in the United States, but even in its 117 years, one feat has never been accomplished – no grandfather and grandson pairing have won the North & South. The only father and son to win the North & South are Jack Nicklaus (1959) and Jack Nicklaus II (1985).

“We’re very drawn to Pinehurst,” Strafaci said. “Pinehurst has meant a lot to our family over the years.”

Frank Strafaci, left, accepts the 1938 North & South Amateur Championship trophy from Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis on the steps of the South Veranda at Pinehurst. Strafaci also won the 1939 North & South, and is the grandfather to 2017 quarterfinalist Ty Strafaci. (Photo copyright Tufts Archives)

Ty Strafaci’s father Frank, who played the North & South several times as well, has vintage photos of his father at the ready on his phone. One photo is from the 1938 North & South trophy presentation on the steps of the South Veranda, Pinehurst’s famed columns visible in the background. Presenting the trophy to Strafaci is Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, the first commissioner of baseball.

“I love the (restoration) of No. 2,” said Ty Strafaci, who remarked that No. 2 looked pretty similar today to the photos of grandfather playing in Pinehurst. “The pine trees were probably only 7- or 8-feet high, though.”

While he played well to advance in two tough matches, the 13th-seeded Strafaci perhaps got a little help from someone looking out for him Friday afternoon. After making a ticklish short putt for par on 17 to square the match with Bae, Strafaci fanned his drive well right of the bunker on the edge of the 18th fairway. His ball struck a tree, but caromed into the fairway alongside that bunker. While he had a long iron shot into the green, Strafaci made a par to halve the hole and extend the match.

On the first hole on No. 2, Strafaci, a rising junior at Georgia Tech, hit a perfect tee shot into the neck of the fairway, aimed directly for the pin tucked in the left corner of the green, and struck a beautiful approach shot to within 5 feet of the cup. It was enough to finally put away Wake Forest’s Bae, who was vying to become the first local player to win the North & South since Jack Fields in 2011.

“Eric’s an incredible player,” Strafaci said. “He’s so tough and just keeps coming at you.”

It was a brutal day for the high seeds. Top-seeded star Cameron Champ, who was the only player under par after two rounds of stroke play, fell in the Round of 32 to 2013 North & South Runner-Up Zach Bauchou. Four of the championship’s top-5 seeds lost in the morning matches, including Ben Wong, who won the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Pinehurst last month. Defending champion Tim Conover lost to Chris Petefish in 20 holes in the Round of 32.

Perhaps no player faced a tougher draw when the day began than Cincinnati junior Austin Squires. Seeded 16th, Squires outlasted Big 12 Champion Chase Hanna 1-up in the morning before drawing Bauchou in the afternoon. Bauchou, who was seeded 32nd after a second-round 79 that included a bogey on the 18th hole to barely survive the cut, seemed primed to make another deep North & South run until he ran into Squires, who prevailed 3 & 1.

“Both Cameron Champ and Zach are great players, and were probably two of the very best in the field. I knew I had my work cut out for me.” -Austin Squires

“I knew coming into today that I would need some great golf if I was going to advance,” said Squires, who lowered his stroke average by five shots this season and won the Firestone Invitational for his first college win. “Both Cameron Champ and Zach are great players, and were probably two of the very best in the field. I knew I had my work cut out for me.”

Squires advances to play Texas golfer Spencer Soosman in the quarterfinals, which begin at 7 a.m. on Thursday. Both the quarterfinals and semifinals will be played Thursday with the championship match scheduled for 7 a.m. on Friday. Spectators are welcome and admission is free.

Strafaci will face New Zealand’s James Antiss in the quarterfinals while Petefish will take on Clemson’s William Nottingham. Duke’s Alex Smalley, who defeated Will Grimmer in the Round of 16, will play North Florida’s Trace Travis.

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

117th North & South Amateur Championship

Pinehurst No. 2

June 28, 2017

Round of 32 

No. 32 Zachary Bauchou d. No. 1 Cameron Champ, 3&1

No. 16 Austin Squires d. No. 17 Chase Hanna, 1up

No. 8 Spencer Soosman d. No. 25 Austin Hitt, 1up

No. 9 Christopher Crawford d. No. 24 Andrew Huseman, 4&2

No. 29 Eric Bae d. No. 4 Jonathan Hardee, 1up

No. 13 Ty Strafaci d. No. 20 William Register, 19 holes

No. 28 Zander Lozano d. No. 5 Ryan Dornes, 2&1

No. 12 James Anstiss d. No. 21 Michael Feagles, 3&1

No. 2 Manuel Torres d. No. 31 Brandon Bauman, 19 holes

No. 18 Chris Petefish d. No. 15 Tim Conover, 19 holes

No. 26 Matthew Wetterich d. No. 7 Josh Martin, 1up

No. 23 William Nottingham d. No. 10 Ricky Castillo, 4&3

No. 30 Trace Travis d. No. 3 Ben Wong, 4&2

No. 19 Peter Knade d. No. 14 Thomas Eldridge, 4&3

No. 6 Alex Smalley d. No. 27 Keegan Hoff, 4&3

No. 11 Will Grimmer d. No. 22 Patrick Fishburn, 3&2

Round of 16

June 28, 2017

No. 16 Austin Squires d. No. 32 Zach Bachou, 3&1

No. 8 Spencer Soosman d. No. 9 Christopher Crawford, 19 holes

No. 13 Ty Strafaci d. No. 29 Eric Bae, 19 holes

No. 12 James Anstiss d. No. 28 Zander Lozano, 2&1

No. 18 Chris Petefish d. No. 2 Manuel Torres, 20 holes

No. 23 William Nottingham d. No. 26 Matthew Wetterich, 4&3

No. 30 Trace Travis d. No. 19 Peter Knade 2&1

No. 6 Alex Smalley d. No. 11 Will Grimmer, 2up

Quarterfinals

June 29, 2017

No. 16 Austin Squires vs. No. 8 Spencer Soosman, 7 a.m.

No. 13 Ty Strafaci vs. No. 12 James Anstiss, 7:08 a.m.

No. 18 Chris Petefish vs. No. 23 William Nottingham, 7:16 a.m.

No. 30 Trace Travis vs. No. 6 Alex Smalley, 7:24 a.m.

Semifinals

Thursday, June 29, 2017

TBD

Championship

Friday, June 30

TBD, 7 a.m.

 

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