Josh Martin and Eric Bae, both Pinecrest alumni, made the cut today at the prestigious 118th North and South Men’s Amateur held on Pinehurst No. 2, a course they have played many times before. They now advance to the round of 32 tomorrow having outplayed some of the best amateur golfers in the entire country.
A Senior at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Martin finished today’s round with an even par 70, to match his score of yesterday. He led Pinecrest High School to 2013 and 2015 state championships and a runner-up finish in 2014.
Pinecrest golf fans will remember Martin and his brother Zach, who also plays for UNC, as teammates in high school.
Another local golfer, Eric Bae, also earned the right to advance with a total of 4 shots over par for the first two days. Ranked 458th in the world as an amateur, he will be entering his junior year at Wake Forest.
Local course knowledge paid off today. “Being familiar with the course definitely helped with my round,” said Bae. “I have a pretty good idea of the green structure, and because of that, I was able to hit it on the proper area as well as know when to attack the flags.”
Josh Martin photo courtesy of the University of North Carolina
AJ Beechler played very well in his first tournament after graduating in June, but his 7 over score was just once more that what was needed to advance match play. Beechler will be entering Eastern Carolina University this fall on a golf scholarship.
The North and South Men’s Amateur attracts the best college golfers from across the country and a few from as far away as South Africa, all competing for the coveted Putter Boy Trophy.
“The tournament is the longest consecutively running amateur championship in the country, 118 continuous years.” said Brian Fahey, Director of Tournament Operations, Pinehurst Resort & Country Club. “The field has been cut to 32 and now moves to match play. The Round of 32 and Round of 16 will be played on Wednesday while the Quarterfinals and Semifinals will be played on Thursday.”
The Championship finals will be played at 7 a.m. on Friday. “Admittance to all rounds is free to the public, which is encouraged to come watch” said Fahey.
Article by John Patota, Sandhills Sentinel Contributor.
Feature photo: Eric Bae courtesy of Wake Forest University.