First Posted: 6/14/2009
DURHAM Kyle Wilsons goal at the 49th annual North Carolina Amateur golf tournament was to take it one day at a time baby steps, if you will. Once the tournament was over, Wilson had made a huge leap.
The Mount Airy graduate and Western Carolina golfer made a charge Saturday and Sunday, shooting a 71 and 69, respectively, at the par-72 Old Chatham Golf Course to finish tied for 16th. As a result of placing in the top 30, Wilson is exempt from qualifying for next years event.
I thought I played really well, Wilson said. Its a tough course, it was almost 7,300 yards long. They made it as difficult as they could the last two days and I felt I played my best the last two days.
What made the tournament challenging, Wilson said, was the placement of flags, which were situated on bunkers and ridges.
They really threw the bunker in play if you got greedy and went for flags, Wilson said. My strategy was to just make birdies and hit par.
He did better than that, as he ended Sunday with the third-best score of the day.
The tournament ran from Thursday until yesterday, with a practice round Wednesday. The initial field was 142 golfers, a sum that was cut down to 65 for the final two days. Wilsons scores dropped as the week went on, from 75 to 72 to 71 to 69.
It was four rounds and thats a lot of golf, he said. I was really excited I finished 1-under for the four rounds. That was big and it feels great to close with a great round.
Wilson went against some of the top competition in collegiate golf. Duffers from North Carolina and North Carolina State were in the field. Wilson said playing at such a high level against good opposition is a boost.
It just reinforces that I can compete on a weekly basis with those players, he said. Its not about who you are and where youre from its about getting the ball in the hole.
Up next for Wilson is the Carolinas Amateur in Charleston, S.C., an event he took second in last year.