GREENVILLE - Defending champion Carter Jenkins beat College of Charleston rising sophomore William Rainey on the second hole of a playoff to win the 100th Carolinas Amateur Championship on Sunday.
Jenkins of Raleigh and Rainey of Charlotte finished regulation play at 5-under 283. Jenkins won on the second playoff hole by sinking a 6-foot birdie putt.
Jenkins is the ninth person in Carolinas Amateur history to win the tournament in consecutive years. He won last year at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort. Last back-to-back winner was Matt Peterson of Morganton, N.C., in 1987-88.
Jenkins' final round started out a little shaky when he tripled the par 3 second hole. He had started the day just 3 shots back of the leaders. "After the triple on number 2, I knew I just had to settle down and try to play good golf. Having my dad on the bag always helps when things get a little tough," reflected Jenkins. When he birdied three straight holes (6, 7 and 8) he knew he was back in good shape and just had to keep things going.
In the meantime, in a round that took twists and turns throughout the day, many other players would lay claim to the lead as the round progressed. Rainey scored a hole-in-one on the par 3 fourth hole to move solidly into contention. Later, a birdie on the tough No. 10 hole carried him into the lead. He then held the lead or a share of the lead the rest of the way to the 18th hole.
Third round co-leader Zach Seabolt of Raleigh had a tough start with a double bogey, triple bogey on his two opening holes and finished his round with a 75 (3-over par) and a tie for fifth place in the championship.
Round three co-leader William Register of Burlington, N.C., played steady golf to open his final round, but a double bogey on hole 14 followed by a 6 on the par-5 15th hole caused him to fall to a tie for third. Also sharing the lead at some point during the final round were Bo Andrews of Raleigh, who finished tied for third, and Danny Pizetoski of Davidson, N.C., who finished tied for ninth. Finally, Thomas Walsh of High Point, N.C., made a serious move up the leaderboard by finishing the front side in 29 (7-under par) vaulting himself into second place at the time. He subsequently fell off the pace a little but finished the championship tied for seventh place.
Jenkins, who had his dad caddy for him, is a rising sophomore at University of North Carolina Greensboro and one day shy of his 19th birthday.
The top 30 finishers are exempt into the 2015 Carolinas Amateur Championship that will be played July 9-12 at Greensboro Country Club's Farm course in Greensboro, N.C.
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