Josh Nichols Wins 93rd Carolinas Open
Amateur Josh Nichols of Kernersville, NC is champion of the 93rd Carolinas Open Presented by BB&T conducted at Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center located in Greensboro, NC.
Nichols, a former member of the Appalachian State University golf team, entered the third and final round tied for third place at -4, four strokes back of amateur Grant Powell of Colfax, NC, a member of the Greensboro College golf team (-8). However, that lead was lost when Powell played the front nine in 40 strokes (+4).
Coming down the stretch, Nichols and amateur Garett Reband of York, SC, a member of the University Oklahoma golf team traded spots atop the leaderboard. Nichols made an unfortunate but heroic bogey, draining a long putt to finish his round at 34-34=68 (-4) to total 208 (-8). With the door wide open, Reband was unable to take advantage, giving up bogeys on both of his final two holes to post a 34-35=69 (-3) also totaling 208 (-8).
The duo headed to the 18th hole, a straightaway par-4 with small segmented portions to its green surrounded by hills on all sides providing natural spectator viewing. Both players striped drives to the center of the fairway. Nichols tugged his approach to the back left corner of the green while the hole was back right. Reband left his shot underneath the flag, but below a ridge. Nichols was first to play, but his putt was extremely difficult. It measured 51 feet up a ridge and then had about 20 feet of break left to right and down a hill. After studying the putt from various angles, Nichols made his stroke and watched the ball roll for approximately five seconds before watching it fall in at perfect speed for birdie (CHECK OUT THE VIDEO!). Reband gave his birdie attempt a good run, but was unable to match.
With the victory, Nichols earned the champion's trophy, the amateur contest first prize of $750 in Bryan Park golf shop credit, and a lifetime exemption into the Carolinas Open.
Photos from the event can be found here