Matthew Crenshaw of Burlington won the 52nd North Carolina Amateur Championship of the Carolinas Golf Association in a playoff last weekend.
Crenshaw, a 30-year-old car salesman, took home the Billy Joe Patton Trophy with a par Sunday afternoon on the first playoff hole at Treyburn Country Club, beating out recent East Carolina University graduate Adam Stephenson of Greenville.
Crenshaw and Stephenson had finished 72 holes tied at for first five-under-par 283 total.
In the playoff, on Treyburn’s daunting, 475-yard, par-4 18th hole, Stephenson was lying two with 223 yards to go; he hit a 5-iron flier from the right rough to over the green. His third shot fell short of the green and ended up into the greenside bunker. His fourth shot went past the hole onto the opposite fringe.
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Meanwhile, enjoying the almost perfect golfing conditions Sunday, Crenshaw made it look easy and hit the green in regulation from the fairway. He then two-putted from 30 feet to take the title.
“I had a ton of butterflies on the tee (of the playoff),” Crenshaw said. “I just tried to stay in the moment. It’s so special to win this event and to see all of the great names on the trophy. My neighbor growing-up and high school teammate is Jerry Richardson and his name is on there twice.”
Richardson won the title in 2005 and 2007.
Stephenson, who had as much as a three-stroke lead late in the final round, bogeyed three of the last four holes to fall into a tie with Crenshaw.
“I had no idea that I had a three shot lead until my caddie told me,” Stephenson said. “I then lost my focus which led to the three bogeys in four holes.”
Scott Harvey of Greensboro started the day with a three-shot advantage, but two costly double bogeys on the third and 12th holes led to a final round of 74 to finish one shot out of the playoff.
Defending champion Harold Varner III of Gastonia — Stephenson’s former roommate and teammate at ECU — posted a one over 73 to finish in a tie eighth place five shots off the lead at even par 288. Varner stated that he intends to turn professional this week.
Richard Fountain of Raleigh sneaked up the leaderboard with a closing round of 69 to finish in a tie for third with Harvey at 284.
Things didn’t go well for local golfers. Long-time CGA contender Ron Carpenter of Creedmoor missed the 36-hole cut by one stroke after shooting 73-80—153.
Northern High grad and future ECU golfer Stephen Lavenets of Rougemont, who won the N.C. High School Invitational last year on the Treyburn course, suffered a broken wrist a few weeks back. He was in still in contention after rounds of 74-77-75, but then withdrew on the last day.
The top 30 players from the tournament earned an exemption for next year’s North Carolina Amateur Championship, which will be played June 13-16, 2013, at Forsyth Country Club in Winston-Salem.