Golf Bag: Pomeranz Outduels Veterans
Jordan Pomeranz, a 21-year-old amateur from Sanford, made a brash statement in the 55th South Carolina Open last week, outdeuling a quartet of veteran professionals for the title at Old Tabby Links in Spring Island.
Pomeranz started the third round two strokes behind defending champion Kelly Mitchum of Southern Pines. His finishing 4-under-par 68 and 54-hole total of 207, gave him a two-shot victory over Mitchum, former PGA Tour member Chris Tucker, and two other Carolinas PGA professionals, Karl Kimball and Curt Sanders.
Despite trailing Mitchum, fresh from competing in the PGA Championship, Pomeranz didn't feel that he had to attack the course in the final round.
"I didn't start the day thinking that I really had to go out there and be aggressive, even though I was two shots back," he said to reporters. "I looked at it like just another round of golf, like one I would play at my home course in Sanford (Quail Ridge)."
Pomeranz, who opened the championship with a 67 but faded in the second round with a level-par 72, made up the deficit the old-fashioned way -- he worked hard for it -- shooting 35-33 with six birdies and a pair of bogeys on the card.
"I would say that for the whole tournament, my putter was my best friend," he said. "It bailed me out a couple of times when I didn't hit the ideal tee shot. But more importantly, it gave me some nice opportunities for birdies."
Pomeranz isn't quite sure what the future holds, but he's hoping to use the victory as a springboard for his professional career.
"I'm going to play some more tournaments in the Carolinas and spend the next four or five months practicing," he said. "I'm hoping to qualify for some Nationwide Tour events in 2007.
"What I'm taking away from here is the fact that I was able to overcome my nerves and hold my own against some of the best players in the area. This win is a huge confidence booster for me."
Pomeranz earned a $750 gift certificate for the win.
Mitchum, an instructor at Pinehurst Resort's Golf Advantage School who used a 5-under-par 67 in the second round to snare the lead, shot 72 in the final round and pocketed a $2,900 share of the four-way purse split.
Rob Pilewski of Southern Pines, the head professional at Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club, shot 71-74-71--216 and won $1,050. Gus Ulrich of Whispering Pines was s stroke back with 217, while Jamie Johnson of West End was at 218. Travis Hall and Chad Gilligan of Pinehurst missed the 36-hole cut.
Terry Florence of Awendaw, S.C., won the Senior Pro Division.
Senior Women: The Country Club of North Carolina will host a qualifying tournament for the USGA Senior Women's Amateur Championship on Wednesday.
The event is one of 22 18-hole qualifiers being held nationwide for the championship, which will be played Oct. 12 through 17 at the Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga. A specified number of entrants -- depending on the size of the field -- advance to the field of 132 players. There are 26 players competing for six spots in the CCNC event. Fourteen of them have handicap indexes under 5.0.
The championship is for amateur women age 50 or older by Oct. 7 with handicap indexes not exceeding 18.4.
Amateur Tour: Nathan Bailey of Greensboro shot a 1-over-par 73 at Anderson Creek Golf Club to win the Championship Flight of the season's final "Major" event on the Amateur Golf Tour.
A late triple bogey kept Bailey from shooting under par, but he still won by four strokes over Mark Robinson of Winston-Salem and Gene Queen of Advance.
The Davis Love III-designed Anderson Creek layout was set up at 7,180 yards for the championship flight.
"In our major events, the winner of each flight qualifies automatically for our season-ending Tour Championship at Hilton Head," said Tour Director Bruce Hallenbeck. "Just like the pros, we want to make sure these four special events during the year provide a true test. Anderson Creek is a challenging course from any tee-box, but at almost 7,200 yards, it's really a bear."
Rob Reynolds of Raleigh won Flight A with 77. George Shadwick of Pinehurst tied for third with 82, while Katja Dammann of Pinehurst was at 83.
Ken Duffy of Sanford won Flight B with 82. Jeff Bradley of Raleigh took Flight C in a card playoff with Rance White of Chapel Hill after they had tied with 82.
"While this was our last Major for the year, we still have six regular season events and the Tour Championship left this season," Hallenbeck said. "Any amateur golfer interested in participating before the schedule is over can contact me at (919) 499-9749, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to register for any regular season tournament."
More like this story