Fox Wins Third County Amateur
It wasn’t exactly the finish Ryan Fox was looking for, but the 2-under-par 69-73—142 was enough to give him his third Moore County Men’s Amateur Championship.
Fox, playing his home course at Seven Lakes Country Club, survived a double-bogey on the final hole to claim the 36-hole title by two strokes over four-time champion Sherrill Britt.
“I hit a 6-iron flier from the rough and it just took off,” Fox said of the inglorious finish, “but I knew what I had to do to win.”
The approach shot flew some 15 yards directly over the pin and came to rest on a rise behind the green. Fox, making sure he didn’t get cute with the next shot to a pin tucked on the back edge of the green and leave it short, hit a semi-flop that was long and ran all the way to the front fringe of the green. From there he three-putted for a 73 that was all he needed.
Fox, a banking executive who lives in Seven Lakes but works in Charlotte, is no stranger to battles with Sherrill, a former professional who has dominated the championship in recent years.
Fox went into the final round with a two-stroke lead over real estate agent Marcus Larose, but when Larose ran into problems early, it became a predictable showdown between Fox and Britt, who had opened with a 73. Larose closed with a 78.
Cody Roberts, the son of Seven Lakes professional Gene Roberts, shot 73-74—147 to take third place, three shots ahead of Larose.
“The par-5 15th was a key hole,” Fox said. “I made a birdie there, and Sherrill, who had made birdies on 13 and 14, made bogey. That put me four shots up and we both parred in until the 18th hole.”
Sherrill, who has played in seven Moore Amateurs and won four times, took the loss in stride.
“I’ve been playing well until the last month or so,” he said. “But that’s the story of the game. It comes and goes.
“I was battling a hook both days and it was just Ryan’s time.”
Both Sherrill and Fox are seeking another county title as they compete in the annual Pine Crest Cup Match Play finals, Sherrill in the regular division and the 51-year-old Fox in the senior division.
Fox, who had previously won championships at Foxfire Country Club and Legacy Golf Links, enjoyed this one as much as the first two.
“It’s always fun to win,” he said. “You still get up and go to work tomorrow like anyone else, but it’s fun.
“Sherrill is a very good player and you know he’s going to play well. He just didn’t make a lot of putts today.”
In other action where players competed from shorter tees, there was a three-way tie in the First Flight of the Regular Division at 153. Defending champion William Carter, of Laurinburg, won in a playoff after shooting 78-75 and tying with Jeff Etheridge and Bo Hubbard.
Chris Meggs, of West End, shot 80-80—160 to win the Second Flight, with Ethan Harris, of Whispering Pines, and Randy Rhynes, of Fayetteville, tying for second with 165.
Lincoln Jackson, of Southern Pines, shot 83-77—160 to win the Third Flight, followed by Connor Reilly with 161 and Terry Burrow with 164.
Hunter Morrell shot 90-95—185 to win the Fourth Flight with James Lynch, of Whispering Pines, at 186 and Jeff Hendrick, of Raleigh, at 193.
Chuck Latham, of Vass, shot 73-73—146 to win the Senior Championship. Chuck Wilkins was second with 72-75—147, with Kim Mansfield at 148.
Chuck Cordell, of Pinehurst, won a three-way playoff in the First Flight after tying at 160 with Bob Becker, of Pinehurst, and Kevin Fink, of Denton, Md.
Mike Foster, of Pinehurst, shot 84-82—166 to win the Second Flight by a stroke over Ed Kennedy, of Pinehurst. Tom Willis shot 173.
Huston Smith, of Seven Lakes, shot 93-84—177 to win the Third Flight, followed by J.D. Revels, of Pinehurst, with 179. Greg Coble shot 181.
Richard Moss shot 73-73—146 to win the Super Senior Division, with Terry Collins, of Pinehurst, second at 153.
Jerry Grout won the First Flight with 82-76—158. Steve Jarrell shot 163 and Tim O’Day 167.
Robert Watt won the Second Flight with 180, followed by Rod Kennedy with 186.
Proceeds from the event, which had a total of 38 sponsors, benefit The First Tee of the Sandhills.
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