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Players to Watch at Young Amateur

Top Players to Watch in 7th Carolinas Young Amateur
The 7th Carolinas Golf Association’s (CGA) Carolinas Young Amateur will be held on the Magnolia course at Pinewild CC in Pinehurst, NC on December 29 and 30, 2016.  The tournament format is 36 holes of stroke play for male and female amateur golfers ages 18 to 25 from North Carolina or South Carolina who have finished high school and have a current USGA handicap Index at a CGA member club.  Trophies will be awarded to the top five spots in each division.  Due to NCAA regulations, gift certificates will not be awarded.
Originally designed by Gene Hamm, the 18-Hole, par 72 Magnolia Course opened to rave reviews in 1989, and within two months was ranked as one of the top 50 courses in the entire southeastern United States by Golf Week.  The Magnolia has seen a complete multi-million dollar redesign, to include new greens complexes with Crenshaw Bent Grass, bunkers and cart paths.  The result is a truly fantastic lay-out with emphasis on risk-reward golf.  In an area that boasts numerous award winning courses, the Magnolia remains a local favorite. The course is characterized by vast elevation changes, generous driving areas, and spacious challenging greens.
Kelli Murphy of Elgin, SC and Austin Morrison of Charlotte, NC battled cold temperatures, a wet golf course and tough competitors winning their respective divisions in the 2014 Carolinas Young Amateur that was also contested on the Magnolia course at Pinewild CC.  Morrison will look to defend his title at this year's championship, but Murphy is not entered.  Other past champions competing this year are Miller Capps of Denver, NC and Sarah Bae of Pinehurst, NC who both won in 2013.
Notables in this year’s women’s field include:
Sarah Bae of Pinehurst, NC.  Bae, a junior at NC State, Played two seasons at High Point before transferring to NC State. Bae was named Big South Freshman of the Year in 2013 while leading the team in scoring with a 74.57 average.  Bae was twice voted Big South Freshman of the Week.  As a junior golfer, Bae was named the NC Junior Girls’ Player of the Year three straight years (2010-2012).  Bae won the 2013 Carolinas Young Amateur at Pinewild CC.
Emily Brooks of Chapel Hill, NC.  Brooks, a senior at Elon University, Ranked 19th in the Southern Conference with a 77.38 stroke.  Brooks is one of four Elon players to earn WGCA All-American Scholar honors.  Brooks was the runner-up in the 2014 Carolinas Young Amateur.
Catherine Ashworth of Fuquay-Varina, NC.  Ashworth, a freshman at East Carolina, is a three-time North Carolina All-State team selection (2012-2014).  As a junior golfer, Ashworth won the 2014 CGA Twin State Girls’ Championship and the North and South Junior at Pinehurst CC.
Louise Oxner of Greenville, SC.  Oxner, a sophomore at Louisville, finished the fall 2015 season with 75.5 stroke average through eight rounds of competition.  Logged a top-10 finish in the Cardinal Cup, tying for 10th with a two-round score of 153.  Oxner is a two-time state high school champion.
Courtney McKim of Raleigh, NC.  McKim, a member of the 2012 National championship team at Alabama and finished tied for tenth place in the 2010 NCAA Division One Championship.  As a junior golfer, McKim was a three-time all-state award winner and won the 2007 North and South Junior at Pinehurst CC.  McKim represented North Carolina in the USGA State Team Championship in 2015.
Other women to watch are Killian Casson of Greenville, NC; Maddisen Cox of Easley, SC; Taylor Dodson of Aiken, SC; Rachel Jones of Asheboro, NC and Jaelyn Tindal of Rock Hill, SC.
Notables in this year’s men’s field include:
Miller Capps of Denver, NC.  Capps, a senior at Clemson, has 10 career top 10s and 20 career rounds in the 60s at Clemson. Capps is a veteran of 40 tournaments and 113 career rounds, more than any other active Clemson golfer.  In 2011, Capps was named the NC Junior Boys’ Player of the Year.   Capps won the 2013 Carolinas Young Amateur at Pinewild CC.
Austin Morrison of Charlotte, NC.  Morrison, a sophomore at William and Mary is the defending champion of the Carolinas Young Amateur.  In his first year at William and Mary, Morrison broke the Tribe freshman record with a 74.04 scoring average.  During his freshman spring season, Morrison was Named CAA Golfer of the Week.
Davis Womble of High Point, NC.  Womble, a senior at Wake Forest, is a three-time ACC all-academic award winner.  In the 2014 ACC championship Womble was Wake Forest's top individual finishing tied for 11th overall.  Womble has a career scoring average of 75.02 at Wake Forest.
Alex Smalley of Wake Forest, NC.  Smalley, a freshman at Duke, finished his first semester with a 73.99 stroke average in five tournaments.  In junior golf, Smalley was a first-team all-state selection and CGA North Carolina Junior Boys Championship winner in 2014.
Joshua Martin of Pinehurst, NC.  Martin, a freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill, won the 2014 NC Amateur to become the youngest person to win North Carolina’s most prestigious tournament.  Martin was the 2014 NC Junior Boys’ Player of the Year.  As a junior golfer, Martin won the Donald Ross Junior at Pinehurst CC three times (2011, 2012 and 2014).
Wesley Conover of Holly Springs, NC.  Conover, a senior at East Carolina, shot par or better in 18 rounds as a junior and led the team with a 72.23 strokes per round average while being named to the All-American all-conference team.  Conover did not play golf in high school, but was a four time letterman in baseball at Holly Springs High School.
Keenan Huskey of Greenville, SC.  Huskey, a sophomore at South Carolina, won the 2015 SCGA SC Amateur in record fashion tying the 72-hole record of 19 under par 269.  This past fall, Huskey won his first college tournament at the Camden Collegiate Invitational with a 5-under 205 and helped the Gamecocks capture the team title as well.  As junior golfer, Huskey was named the Carolinas Junior Boys’ Player of the Year by the CGA.
Other men to watch are Preston Cole of Greenville, SC; Tim Conover of Holly Springs, NC; Blake Fiest of Huntersville, NC; David Germann of Clayton, NC; Tanner Gross of Archdale, NC; Drew Johnson of Oak Ridge, NC; Zachary Martin of Pinehurst, NC; Brett McLamb of Coats, NC; William Rainey of Charlotte, NC; Harrison Rhoades of Raleigh, NC and Thomas Walsh of High Point, NC
Pinewild CC information:
Address: 1 Pinewild Country Club Drive, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Golf shop phone: 910-295-5145
General Manager: Chris Little
Head Golf Professional: Sean Desmond
Course Superintendent: John Robertson
Architect: Gene Hamm
Men’s yardage/par: 6,835 yards/par 72
Women’s yardage/par: 5,532 yards/par 72
Schedule of events:
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
11:00 am           First round of stroke play (18 holes) shotgun start
2:30 pm            Tournament lunch for players
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
11:00 am           Final round of stroke play (18 holes) shotgun start
2:30 pm            Tournament lunch for players
3:00 pm            Awards presentation
To view the pairings, starting times, and hole-by-hole scoring throughout the championship, click on the following link

Carolinas Golf Association
140 Ridge Road, Southern Pines, NC 28387
910-673-1000 | /blog-post/home/15youngam-2015/year/2015/id/125427/players-to-watch-at-young-amateur
Monday-Friday: 8:30-5:00

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