The Carolinas Golf Association’s 2019 championship season gets an early start with the 10th Carolinas Young Amateur to be held January 3-4, 2019 on the Magnolia Course at Pinewild Country Club in Pinehurst.
The tournament format is 36 holes of stroke play for male and female amateur golfers ages 18 to 25 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.
Originally designed by Gene Hamm, the par-72 Magnolia Course at Pinewild Country Club 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 Golfweek.
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 fantastic layout 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 challenging greens.
Notables in this year’s women’s field include:
Jodee Tindal of Rock Hill, S.C.
Tindal, ranked sixth on the Carolinas Women’s rankings, finished as the runner-up in the last year’s 9th Carolinas Young Amateur. Tindal, who is a sophomore at the College of Charleston, partnered with her sister, Jaelyn Tindal, to win the Carolinas Women’s Four-Ball championship and was a runner-up in the Carolinas Women’s Amateur Match play this past summer.
Jessica Spicer of Bahama, N.C.
Spicer, a junior at Virginia Tech, is the seventh-ranked woman in the Carolinas. Spicer was the runner-up in the 8th Carolinas Young Amateur, finished sixth in last year’s championship and was the runner-up in the Carolinas Women’s Match Play Championship.
Gracyn Burgess of Lexington, S.C.
Burgess, a freshman at Clemson University, was the 2017 Carolinas Junior Girls’ Player of the Year. Burgess, who ranks 14th on the Carolinas Women’s rankings, was the first female junior golfer to win the CGA Twin States, the CGA Vicki DiSantis Championship and the CGA Junior Girls Championship in the same year.
Other women to watch are Sarah Bae of Pinehurst; Emily Cox of Lancaster, S.C.; Riley Smyth of Cary, N.C.; Sarah Spicer of Bahama, N.C.; Jodee Tindal of Rock Hill, S.C. and Hailey Cleary of Lexington, S.C.
Notables in this year’s men’s field include:
Bryce Hendrix of Greenville, N.C.
Hendrix, a senior at UNC-Greensboro, won the 2018 Palmetto Amateur, was runner-up in the 2018 Monroe Invitational and was the runner-up in the 2017 N.C. Amateur Match Play Championship. Hendrix is currently ranked 35th on the Carolinas Men’s rankings.
Caleb Proveaux of Lexington, S.C.
Proveaux, who ranks 11th on the Men’s Carolinas rankings, is a junior on the University of South Carolina. Proveaux won the 2017 Oglethorpe Invitational and finished fourth in the 2018 Azalea Amateur.
Tim Bunten of Concord, N.C.
Bunten, a sophomore at East Carolina University, finished in third place in the 9th Carolinas Young Amateur last year. Bunten currently sits at number 88 on the Carolinas Men’s rankings.
Patrick Stephenson of Four Oaks, N.C.
Stephenson, a junior at East Carolina University, was named to the American Men’s Golf All-Conference Team and led the Pirates with a 72.70 strokes per round average.
Other men to watch are AJ Beechler of Pinehurst; Preyer Fountain of Raleigh, N.C.; Zack Gordon of Gaffney, S.C.; Tanner Gross of Archdale, N.C.; Brady Hinkle of Lancaster, S.C.; Grant Powell of Colfax, N.C. and Grant Sellers of McBee, S.C.
Schedule of events:
Thursday, January 3, 2019
10:30 am First-round of stroke play (18 holes) shotgun start
Tournament lunch for players immediately following play
Friday, January 4, 2019
10:30 am Final-round of stroke play (18 holes) shotgun start
Tournament lunch for players and awards presentation immediately following play
Photo of A.J. Beechler, of Pinehurst, provided by the Carolina Golf Association, taken in 2015.