LUMBERTON — Thirty-six holes wasn’t enough to decide the Regular Division champion at the Robeson County Golf Championship, sponsored by Dial Insurance, on Sunday.
Junior Nance shot a 1-under 71 in the final round at Pinecrest Country Club to finish in a tie with Michael White and force a playoff. Nance won on the opening hole, rolling in a birdie to claim the title. His victory comes a year after winning the Senior Division.
“I drove the ball straight today,” Nance said after having woes off the tee on Saturday. “I still didn’t putt really good, but I didn’t miss any short putts. It was a solid round of golf.”
The one-hole playoff provided good and bad bounces off the tee for Nance and White, who were tied at 147 after the completion of 36 holes. Nance flew the bunker on the left side of the No. 1 fairway and got a kick toward the green to leave him under 100 yards to the flag, while White was in a tough spot after he drove through the dogleg in the fairway and into a hard lie that led to trouble.
“My intended line was between the bunker and the 150-yard stake and I pulled it,” Nance said of the 380-yard first hole. “(Over the bunker) is the hot spot and if you hit over there it kicks and goes. I had 98 yards in.”
“The ball was laying down in the rough and the ground was real hard under the ball,” White said. “I just didn’t get the ball up under the clubface correctly.”
White duffed his shot and it rolled to the fairway 30 yards short of the green, and Nance stuck his approach inside of 15 feet, where he rolled in the putt to win the division.
“I guess experience is what definitely won the tournament today,” White said.
Nance rode a consistent wave through his round with 17 pars and a birdie on the par-3 12th hole to make up for his first-round 76.
White got to 1-under for the round with a birdie on No. 4, but dropped shots on Nos. 7, 9, 10 and 16 before a birdie on the 17th to finish the round with a 4-over 76. He went 4-over on the par-3s in the second round.
“It was an up-and-down round,” White said.
Coming into the day one shot off the lead, Stoney Stone shot a 39 on the back nine that included a double bogey on No. 16 and a bogey on 18 to leave him one shot out of the playoff.
“It was a great match,” Nance said. “We stayed pretty close the whole day, the three of us, and it really tightened up from No. 15 on in.”
Marty Hunt tied in third place with Stone with a final-round 71 off a front nine score of 33.
Wallwork comes from behind to win Senior title
Sitting two shots back of the lead going into the final round, Phillip Wallwork had a target score in mind.
At or under par was the goal for Wallwork going into Sunday, and a 1-over 73 was enough for him to win the Senior Division as his competitors stumbled on the final day.
“I was really trying to shoot at a number which was going to be somewhere around even par,” Wallwork said. “I thought that as long as I beat Pete (Maynor) and I shot even par, somebody was going to have to go low to beat me.”
Wallwork fought back from a 2-over start through four holes to make the turn at 1-over and closed his round with a birdie to shoot even par on the back nine.
“I hit the ball very well,” he said. “I missed a number of putts, but I played very well and never got into any trouble. It was a pretty easy round.”
His 73 comes following a 6-over 78 on Saturday for a two-day total of 151.
Maynor, the first-round leader, struggled out of the gate with dropped shots on five of his first eight holes and was 7-over on the front nine en route to shooting an 85.
Eddie Williams followed up his first-round 80 with a 4-over 76 on Sunday to secure second place in the division with a 156 and Donnie Beck took home third with a 157.
Godwin goes wire-to-wire to win Ladies Division
Sunday’s final round was a fight for Meredith Godwin, not with the rest of the field, but with her swing.
Coming into the round up by eight strokes, she used an 8-over 80 to win the Ladies Division with a two-day total of 158, 25 strokes ahead of second place.
“I had to fight with my short game because my swing was off,” Godwin said. “My short game has helped me the last two days.”
After opening the round with two double bogeys and a bogey on Nos. 1, 2 and 3, Godwin picked up birdies on Nos. 5 and 9 — chipping in from behind the green — to make the turn at 41.
“I just tried to get it in the fairway basically,” Godwin said. “That was my goal on every hole.”
Marty Duvall claimed second place in the division with a 183 and Lea Helper and Pandora Carter tied for third with a 187.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.