Clemson's William Nottingham wins North and South Amateur

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Clemson's William Nottingham wins North and South Amateur

Amateur

Clemson's William Nottingham wins North and South Amateur

A late push meant a prestigious title.

William Nottingham overcame a 2-down deficit on the back nine of the championship match Friday to capture the North and South Amateur Championship. Nottingham defeated James Anstiss in the closely contested final, 1 up.

But it did come the hard way. Nottingham rolled in a 10-footer for par at No. 9 at Pinehurst No. 2 just to stay 2 down in the match. He then chipped away with steady golf, parring the next seven holes as well. In the process, he won Nos. 11 and 14 to square the match.

But the turning point was No. 17. Nottingham stepped up to the tee on the infamous par 3 and launched a stunning 6-iron to 4 feet. Anstiss followed with his own shot to 12 feet but couldn’t get the birdie putt to drop. When Nottingham dropped his, he was 1 up heading to the last.

Both players struggled at the 18th – a 15-minute rain delay after they hit their tee shots didn’t help – and Anstiss appeared he might move the match on, as the Kiwi was 4 feet away for par while Nottingham, of Kingsport, Tenn., had already missed his long par effort.

Needing this putt to drop to force extra holes, Anstiss could only watch in agony as the ball slid by on the right edge.

At that moment, Nottingham had added his name to a list of champions that include Jack Nicklaus, Curtis Strange, Davis Love III and Francis Ouimet.

“This tournament means a lot, for sure,” Nottingham said, via Pinehurst.com. “Reading about all of the people who have won this tournament, to go into the locker room and see all the cool names who have won this tournament, it’s just really special for me to be a part of that and to have my name on the wall with some of those people.”

Nottingham, an incoming sophomore at Clemson, was actually one of the lower seeds in match play as he earned the No. 23 seed after successfully qualifying in stroke play for one of 32 spots.

He ran through Ricky Castillo, 4 and 3, in his opening-round match and won by the same margin in the Round of 16 (over Matthew Wetterich) and quarterfinal (Chris Petefish).

But the semis gave him a stern fight, as Nottingham needed 22 holes to take down Duke’s Alex Smalley (the medalist at last year’s U.S. Amateur). Then there was the battle in the finals.

Nottingham’s freshman season at Clemson included four top 10s as a starter. His best was a T-4 at the Wolfpack Spring Open that came about thanks to a second-round 62.

Nottingham entered the week ranked No. 497 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He previously won the Tennessee State Match Play Championship in 2016 and is a two-time winner of the Tennessee State Junior Amateur Championship.

Cameron Champ, the powerful Texas A&M player who made a name for himself at the U.S. Open, was medalist this week but fell in his Round-of-32 match to Oklahoma State’s Zachary Bauchou. Defending champion Tim Conover, of East Carolina, also fell in the Round of 32 (to Chris Petefish).

Ohio State’s Will Grimmer (Round of 16) and Texas’ Spencer Soosman (quarterfinals) were among the notables to make match play but fall short of the title.

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