Blalock's 5-under 67 takes Pinehurst Junior title

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1Andrea Lee2016CA68.06
2Kristen Gillman2016TX69.26
3Angel Yin2017CA70.11
4Clare Amelia Legaspi2016CA70.65
5Mariel Galdiano2016HI70.87

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1Andy Zhang2016FL67.73
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• • •

Will Grimmer had the 59, but Will Blalock ended up with the victory at the 35th North & South Junior Championship.

Blalock, 17, of Gastonia, N.C., shot 5-under-par 67 on Pinehurst No. 5 Thursday and finished with a 15-under 198 total to defeat Cole Berman of Rosemont, Pa., by four shots. Kendrick Vinar of Hillsborough, N.C., the 2012 champion, finished third at 10-under 203. Grimmer, the Cincinnati resident who had set a Pinehurst record with an 11-under 59 a day earlier on Pinehurst No. 1, posted a 1-under 71 on No. 6.

Blalock, a high school senior and a North Carolina State commit, finished second in the 2011 North & South Junior and was 11th last year. In eight rounds in this event, he has never shot over par.

Blalock played in the final group Thursday with Grimmer, but said he wasn't intimidated by his competitor's record round the previous day. Blalock did not have a three-putt all week and posted just two bogeys overall.

“I’m the guy who beat the guy who shot 59,” Blalock said. “Will played great – I mean, he shot 59 – but he still wasn’t leading, and he never had the lead. It is kind of funny.

“I didn’t think about (the 59). I was just playing my own game.”

Grimmer left the event satisfied as well.

“You know, I didn’t shoot 78 or 76 (Thursday),” he said. “I came back with a round under par on a tight golf course with tough pins at Pinehurst. I played really well and don’t feel like I really made a lot of mistakes. Will just played phenomenally.”

And he'll always have Wednesday.

“I’ve never gotten more texts, e-mails and Facebook messages in my life,” he quipped. “And then I click on the Golf Channel (on Wednesday) night and I see the interview I did with (Pinehurst Resort). I couldn’t believe that. I was like, “Oh my gosh. That’s me on TV.’

“It’s still cool to have gotten the attention of shooting 59. No one can ever take that away from me.”

Anna Redding, 16, of Concord, N.C., won the 35th North & South Junior Girls Championship, finishing as the lone player under par with a 1-under 212 after a third-round 73 on Pinehurst No. 1.

“This is the best win I’ve ever had,” she said. “It’s amazing. I still can’t believe it right now.”

Kayla Katterhenry and Rei Nakatani finished second at 1-over 214.

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