CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson rising senior Zack Gordon defeated Ben Carr of Georgia Southern 2&1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the North-South Amateur at Pinehurst #2 in Pinehurst, NC in an 11-hour match on Friday. Gordon will face Joe Highsmith, an All-American for National Champion Pepperdine, on Saturday morning.
All eight Sweet 16 matches were halted significantly by two rain delays. Gordon and Carr, started at 7:48 a.m. before the golfers were taken off the court due to inclement weather after just two holes. The golfers tied the first two holes.
They returned to the course at 2 p.m. and again got just two holes in before storms took them off the course a second time. Carr had just won the fourth hole to take a 1-up lead.
The skies finally cleared for good at 3:45 p.m. and Gordon immediately tied the match with a tap-in birdie on the par five fifth hole.
The competitors were still tied after eight holes. Gordon then won the ninth hole with a 25-foot birdie putt, to go one-up. He never trailed the remainder of the match, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy path to victory for Gordon.
He won the 10th hole with a tap-in birdie to go two-up, but Carr came back to win the 11th. It was still one-up as the two golfers played the 14th hole. Gordon made his second long birdie putt of the match, this time an 18-footer, to win the 14th hole to go two-up.
Carr won the 15th, to cut the margin to one, but Gordon took it right back by hitting his approach on 16th to a foot for a tap in birdie, his third birdie from three-feet or less in the round. He closed out the match with a par on the 17th hole for a 2 & 1 victory.
For the 17 holes, Gordon won six holes, Carr won four and they tied seven. Gordon made six birdies in the match that ended around 6:40 p.m.
Highsmith, a starter on Pepperdine’s National Championship Team this year, was 5-0 in match play for the Wave in 2020-2, including 2-0 at the East Lake Cup and 3-0 at the NCAA Championship. He defeated Brad Reeves, 1-up, in the Round of 16 on Friday.
Zack Gordon at the 2021 North – South Amateur
Stroke Play Qualifier, June 29-30June 29; 65 at Pinehurst #2June 30; 70 at Pinehurst #4
Match PlayJuly 1, First Round: d. William Moll (Vanderbilt), 19 holesJuly 2 Second Round: d. Ben Carr (Georgia Southern), 2 & 1