CCNC Pro-Member-Guest winners, 2021.jpeg

Winners of the 17th annual CCNC Member-Guest stand with their prizes after the win this weekend. The winners were, from left, Tom Pashley, Nathan Smith, Robbie Zalzneck and Drew Weaver.

The Country Club of North Carolina’s director of golf Jeff Dotson called it “unreal,” but a humble champion shrugged it off as having fun with his friends.

At the 17th Annual Pro-Member-Guest, three-time USA Walker Cup Team member and four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh shot 62 with 11 birdies and a bogey at CCNC’s Dogwood Course on Saturday to pace his team of Korn Ferry Tour member Drew Weaver, Pinehurst Resort president Tom Pashley and CCNC member and long-time USGA staffer Robbie Zalzneck to victory.

“Yeah, it was a great team for the better ball format,” said Smith, politely dismissing the question about his great score. “All of the guys played well. Drew’s a great pro. (Friday) Tom played spectacularly, and Robbie made some great putts. We ham-and-egged it. It was just a lot of fun.”

In the one best ball-gross plus one best ball-net format, the foursome shot 128-131—259 to defeat the runners-up (Bryce Hendrix, and a trio of CCNC members Bob Klug, Allan Strange, and Will Huntley) by four strokes. Finishing in third place at 268 were Mike Wesko, Cam McRae, Jim Hansen, and Lee Mitchell. Twenty-six teams played the Cardinal Course and the Dogwood Course on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

To complement the fun, Smith noted that he loves the courses at CCNC.

“I love the greens,” he said. “They were fast and smooth. I was blown away. Even with the shotgun format, every green was like nobody had played it. They are such fun courses with some really challenging holes. You could play it every day.”

Smith played on the USA Walker Cup team in 2009 with Weaver, who grew up in North Carolina and played collegiately at Virginia Tech as Zalzneck served as the USGA’s competitions manager at Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia in a 16½-9-½ victory. Of note, Rickie Fowler and Brian Harman were also on the USA Team, and Tommy Fleetwood played for Great Britain and Ireland.

A career amateur, Smith also played on the 2011 and 2013 U.S. Walker Cup teams. In 2013, he and fellow mid-amateur Todd White secured the final two clinching points in the 17-9 USA win. In his decorated career, Smith won the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2003, 2009, 2010 and 2013. He and White combined to win the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at The Olympic Club in 2015.

Weaver, a High Point native, won the 2007 Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club becoming the first American winner since Jay Sigel in 1979.

“I played with Drew and Robbie and another USGA staff member Hank Thompson two years ago,” Smith said. “When I got the call, I had to come. I love seeing Robbie. He’s such a good friend and it was a Walker Cup reunion with Drew, and low and behold, we won.”

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