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Bunten Will Battle Mathews in North Carolina Amateur Match Play Championship


HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (August 1, 2020) --  Quarterfinal and Semifinal results from the 11th North Carolina Amateur Match Play Championship at The Club at 12 Oaks in Holly Springs, N.C. on August 1, 2020. (7,093 yards, par 36-36--72)


The CGA will be conducting this championship under the new COVID-19 Tournament Protocols. Learn more here


Related: Championship Web Site | Match Play Bracket | History l Photos




This morning the Quarterfinals of the 11th North Carolina Amateur Match Play Championship took place with the largest margin win being Press McPhaul of Raleigh, N.C. defeating Alex Heffner, of Harrisburg, N.C. 6 & 4. 


McPhaul would go on to play against Tim Bunten, of Concord, N.C. in the Semifinal match. McPhaul shared that he actually recruited Bunten for the East Carolina Men’s Golf Team, before he took the head coaching job at N.C. State. 


“I left and changed jobs before he started, but I got to know him and his mom and dad really well. I’ve always been pulling for him from afar. It’ll be really fun to play with him” McPhaul said. 


Going into the Semifinals match, McPhaul said that nothing will change with his game plan or mindset. 


“I hope to forget about everything except the shot I have to play. I just want to play the shot, and play it the right way. I just want to go into a bubble as much as I possibly can,” McPhaul said. 


Bunten, who faced Nic Brown of Wendell, N.C. in his Quarterfinal match, said that he played very well throughout the day, for the most part, and was able to play steady. 


“I just made a lot of pars, and luckily that was enough today,” Bunten said. 


Bunten noted that the greens have definitely gotten faster over the past few days, and the course was playing tougher. 


“I’m really excited to play Press in the Semi’s. It’ll be fun to get to play against him,” Bunten said. 


The third matchup of the morning was Nicholas Mathews of Mebane, N.C. and Walker Cress of Concord N.C. Mathews ultimately secured his spot in the Semifinals defeating Cress 2 up. 


Alex Nianouris of Raleigh, N.C. also earned a spot in the Semifinals on No. 18 against Stephen Abrams of Wilson, N.C. 


Their match was especially close. The two were back-and-forth all day battling it out, until a birdie on No. 17 by Nianouris pulled it back to all square. Abrams got into trouble in a bunker on  No. 18 and Nianouris was able to take advantage of it and win the match 1 up.


“I’m just going to continue to hit as many fairways as I can and stay out of trouble,” Nianouris said.




Bunten and McPhaul went head-to-head in the afternoon Semifinal matches, with Bunten coming out on top with a 3 & 2 victory. 


“The afternoon went really well. It was kind of the same drill as the first day, where I was down three through four. I just stayed in it and tried to battle back and you just have to remind yourself to stay focused, and there will be birdies out there. I was able to stay focused, and finish really strong on the back,” Bunten said. 


Bunten went on to say that the only time he got somewhat out of his game was on No. 5 when he tried to go for the green with a punch shot and hit a tree. 


“I refocused and saved par, made a really big putt there, to keep momentum to win Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9,” Bunten said. 


When he’s out on the course, if he ever needs to reset, Bunten tells himself, “ Okay start over, it’s a new round right here and you just have to convince yourself of that.” 

Nicholas Mathews, of Mebane, N.C. ultimately defeated Alex Nianouris of Raleigh, N.C. 5 & 4 in the Semifinals to earn his spot int he Championship match where he will face off against Bunten.


Mathews said that with match play it is easy to get ahead of yourself during the round, so he just kept telling himself to stay in the moment. 


“I did a great job of just staying in the moment, I think that’s what really allowed me to keep hitting good shots, and executing the game plan,” Mathews said. 


Mathews will attend  N.C. State in the fall and play for the men’s golf team. While he is disappointed his season was cancelled, he hopes to compete in CGA events to keep his game sharp. 


And for the championship match, Mathews said that he will stick to the same game plan, which is staying the moment. 


“I definitely am excited; definitely looking forward to it. I’m just happy I get to play tomorrow. I love this course, it’s a great tournament and I’m just excited to be here,” Mathews said. 


11th North Carolina Amateur Match Play Championship

The Club at 12 Oaks, Holly Springs, N.C.

Quarterfinal Results


Press McPhaul, Raleigh, N.C. def Alex Heffner, Harrisburg, N.C. 6 and 4

Tim Bunten, Concord, N.C. def. Nic Brown, Wendell, N.C. 4 and 3

Nicholas Mathews, Mebane, N.C. def. Walker Cress, Concord, N.C. 2 up

Alex Nianouris, Raleigh, N.C. def. Stephen Abrams, Wilson, N.C. 1 up

11th North Carolina Amateur Match Play Championship

The Club at 12 Oaks, Holly Springs, N.C.

Semifinal Results


Tim Bunten, Concord, N.C. def. Press McPhaul, Raleigh, N.C. 3 and 2

Nicholas Mathews, Mebane, N.C. def. Alex Nianouris, Raleigh, N.C. 5 and 4 


About the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA)

The CGA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization that was founded in 1909 to promote and to protect the game of golf in the Carolinas by providing competitions, education, support and benefits to golf clubs and golfers. The CGA is the second largest golf association in the country with over 700 member clubs represented by nearly 150,000 individuals.

The CGA annually conducts 48 championships and five team match competitions for men, women, juniors, and seniors. It also runs over 150 One-Day (net and gross) events as well as qualifying for USGA national championships. The CGA serves golf in the Carolinas with numerous programs such as: the USGA Handicap System; tournament management software and support; course measuring and course/slope ratings; agronomy consultation; answers about the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, and Handicapping; Carolinas Golf Magazine; Interclub series; Tarheel Youth Golf Association; Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame; expense assistance for USGA Junior and Girls' Junior qualifiers from the Carolinas; and the Carolinas Golf Foundation (CGF). The CGF has distributed nearly $2,000,000 since 1977 to benefit Carolinas' golf initiatives including junior and women's programs.     

For more information about the CGA, visit our website.




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