Chung to Defend North & South Title
You can understand if David Chung is a little tired when he tees off Wednesday in the 110th North and South Amateur Championship at Pinehurst Resort.
Chung, a Fayetteville native who is the event’s defending champion, will no doubt still be feeling jet lag from his visit to Portrush, Northern Ireland, where he competed with a United States team against a team of European collegians in the Palmer Cup, a competition that ran Thursday through Saturday.
A rising junior at Stanford University, Chung is the No. 8-ranked amateur in the country and will be attempting to become the ninth player in history to win consecutive North and South titles. The last to accomplish that feat was new North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame inductee Paul Simson, who won back-to-back championships in 1995-96.
Chung, who is seeded No. 1, will pace a field that contains many of the top U.S. amateurs, including 2009 North and South runner-up Wesley Bryan, of Chapin, S.C.
Bryan, who is seeded third, led Chung by three-up through 22 holes in the championship match before Chung staged a rally that saw him win 4&3.
A total of 32 players were seeded into the event, with a field of approximately 90 contestants competing in an 18-hole qualifying round on Tuesday for the other 32 spots before match play begins on Wednesday.
Patrick Reed, a transfer from Georgia to Augusta State, the current NCAA Division I team champion, is ranked ninth in the country and seeded No. 2. Bryan Wesley, of South Carolina, is ranked No. 61 and seeded third.
Rounding out the top 32 seeds are Morgan Hoffman, Bhavik Patel, Travis Ross, Andrew Loupe, Lee Bedford, Blayne Barber, Jack Fields, Steve Lim, Barrett Kelpin, Riley Arp, Patrick Fada, Kelly Kraft, Cam Burke, Scott Strohmeyer, Eric Steger, Michael Buttacavoli, James Erkenbeck, Kyle Peterman, Payne Gniewek, Michael McGowan, Robert Hoadley, Ryan Zasbroske, Christopher Brown, Jacob Burger, C. Scott Smith, Clayton Rotz, Tommy McDonagh, Nakarintra Ratankul and Will Bowman.
Fields, a Southern Pines native and a former winner of both the North Carolina and Carolinas Amateurs, is seeded 10th. He is a rising junior at the University of North Carolina and was recently named to the All-ACC Team and to the All-East Regional Team. He is ranked 107th in the world.
McGowan, a rising sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill, is ranked 334th in the world and seeded No. 23. He is the son of former PGA Tour player Pat McGowan and the grandson of Peggy Kirk Bell.
Hoadley, seeded No. 24, is a Southern Pines native attending UNC Greensboro who has been playing well this summer.
Several region players are attempting to qualify for the match play field, including Patrick Barrett, of Pinehurst and UNC, Zak Drescher, of Campbell University, Kelly Miller, of Southern Pines, Robert Riesen, of Pinehurst, and Hunter Howell, of Raeford.
Contestants will gather in the main dining room of the Pinehurst Members’ Club for a dinner Monday night, where former PGA star Joe Inman will be the guest speaker.
Tee times for the first round of match play runs from 7:28 Wednesday morning until 3:30 p.m. Second and third round matches are scheduled for Thursday, with quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday. The final match of 36 holes will begin Saturday at 8 a.m.
The best golfers in the world have pursued the Putter Boy Trophy over the years. Some former champions are Walter Travis, Francis Ouimet, Billy Joe Patton, Harvie Ward, Jack Nicklaus, Corey Pavin, Curtis Strange and Davis Love III.
Spectators are invited to attend all the sessions at no admission charge. Golf carts for spectators are not permitted.
Jake Nutter, of Bedford, N.H., and Sarah Bae, of Cary, captured titles in the 32nd annual Junior North & South Amateur at Pinehurst Resort last week.
Nutter shot 73-70-70—213 to close one shot better than Ben Fogler, of Elgin S.C. Bae, meanwhile, emerged victorious in a one-hole playoff over Katie Kirk, of Davidson.
The Junior North & South, which is part of the oldest continuously held amateur championship series in the country, is open to boys and girls aged 15 to 17. The 2010 edition, which began Tuesday, featured 120 participants from 22 states competing over 54 holes on three different courses.
In the Girls’ Division, Bae led after the opening 18 holes, while Brooke Bellomy (Ona, W.Va.) led through 36 holes following a 1-under par 71 in the second round. Bae and Kirk each shot 73 in the final round to get into the playoff, which Bae won with a par on the first hole.
Bellomy, Trisha Witherby (Richmond, Ind.) and Kayla Scuiupider, of Etowah, finished in a tie for third.
In the Boys’ Division, Fogler led Nutter by two after the first round and one after the second round. But Nutter shot a final-round 70 for a one-stroke victory. Cory Scuiupider, of Etowah, matched his sister’s third-place finish with one of his own. Patrick Fishburn (Ogden, Utah) finished fourth, and Alex Ehlert, of Raleigh, was one of five players who tied for fifth.
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