Whispering Pines teen wins Mid Pines Amateur

Jonathan Honeywell, 18, of Whispering Pines, won the 2022 Mid Pines Amateur in a playoff with J.J. Zimmer at the classic Donald Ross-designed course Wednesday.

The pair tied for the 54-hole lead at 3-under-par 210 and played the 18th hole of Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club three times in the playoff.

After a pair of bogeys and a pair of pars in the first two circuits by both players, Honeywell guided home a 25-foot birdie putt that broke nearly four feet for the victory.

“I gave it a solid fist bump,” said Honeywell, who won the 2021 Jimmy Anderson Invitational. “It was a relief, and it feels good to get it done. I didn’t want to go back to the tee at 18 for the fourth time.”

Zimmer, of Humboldt, Tenn., is a sophomore at Union University. He earned Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Year and first-team all-conference honors in 2022 for the NCAA Division 2 school.

Honeywell, a second-team All-State choice for 2021 by the Tarheel Youth Golf and Carolinas Golf Associations, shot a 2-under 69 in round 3, which tied for the day’s lowest round with Dawson Booth (Evans, Ga.) Augusta University.

“This was my first amateur win, so it would have to be my biggest,” Honeywell said.

Honeywell, who is in a gap year while deciding on college or pro golf, called his birdie on the par-5 15th hole the most critical in reaching the playoff after starting the day five strokes off the lead. He was 230 yards from the green on his approach and stuck a 3-iron to 30 feet.

“My swing felt good all day, and I was in a good head space,” Honeywell said. “I heard the leaders were struggling so I just tried to make a few on the way in.”

Coleman Reece (Anderson, S.C.), of Anderson University, was third at 211, followed by Colin Dutton (Foxfire Village), of Wingate University, and Randall Hudson (New Bern, N.C.), of UNC Greensboro, who tied for fourth at 213.

First-round and second-round leader Tommy Lamb, a junior at UNC Greensboro from Cary, finished sixth at 214 with Jackson Brimfield (Chapel Hill, N.C.) of the University of Louisville.

Lamb began the final round with a four-stroke lead (at 6-under par) over Zimmer, Reese, Dutton, and Matthew Mattioli, of Wittenberg University, a sophomore from Cheswick, Pa. but shot 77.

Lamb shot the tournament’s lowest round — 7-under par 64 at Southern Pines Golf Club in the first round with nine birdies against two bogeys.

The 54-hole Mid Pines Amateur was cut to the low 40 scorers and ties after 36 holes. All players in the starting field played one round at Mid Pines and one round at Southern Pines Golf Club before the cut.

The event was administered under the guidance of Stuart Taylor and Eric Murray of the Tarheel Junior Golf Foundation and began as the CCNC Amateur in 2012.

Final results here.

Photo: Jonathan Honeywell.

Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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