Alex Carpenter knows what it's like to enjoy the spoils of winning a Southern Amateur championship, one of the nation's most prestigious amateur national tournaments.
Luke Long knows what it's like to win on the state's biggest stage. The 2018 Arkansas State Golf Association amateur champion has been at the doorstep of winning the Southern Amateur the past two years but hasn't been able to knock down the door on a championship.
Long will get his third opportunity beginning today when 159 players tee off in the 113th Southern Amateur Championship at the Chenal Country Club Founders Course in Little Rock.
Carpenter, a four-time high school state champion and 2009 Arkansas Baptist graduate, won the 2010 Southern Amateur at Shoal Creek (Ala.) Golf Club, shooting a final round 7-under 65 against a field which included PGA Tour members Patrick Cantlay, Russell Henley and Emiliano Grillo. It was Cantlay that Carpenter had to overcome the final day.
"It was the biggest individual tournament I ever won," said Carpenter, 29, now a Dallas resident. "I had played on Palmer Cup teams that won which was really fun, but individually, winning the Southern Am was the pinnacle."
Down two strokes to Cantlay going into the final round, Carpenter shot a 1-under 35 on the front nine, then blistered the back side with birdies on Nos. 10, 11, 14 and 16 before making eagle at the par-5, 17th to finish with a 7-under 65 for his round . Carpenter was a combined 4 under on the 17th the first three days, including an eagle in the third round. He said he had confidence playing the hole in the final round, but it took making a 65-foot putt to finish off the eagle before making par on the 18th.
"I realized it wasn't over on 17 and had to make two good swings on 18 for par," Carpenter said. "I was playing in the third to last group and knew Cantlay needed to make eagle to force a playoff."
At a glance
113th Southern Amateur Championship
WHERE Chenal Country Club Founders Club, Little Rock; par 71, 7,131 yards
DEFENDING CHAMPION Patrick Cover
ARKANSAS CONNECTIONS William Buhl (Arkansas Razorbacks), Matthew Cole (Fayetteville), Connor Gaunt (Cabot), Wil Gibson (Jonesboro), Luke Long (Fayetteville), Garrett May (Hope), Mason Overstreet (Razorbacks), Devyn Pappas (Jonesboro), Julian Perico (Razorbacks), Julien Sale (Arkansas State), Scott Steed (Little Rock)
Cantlay nearly did just that, hitting the flag stick from the middle of the fairway with his second shot at the par 4. Carpenter was able to celebrate once he saw Cantlay's ball bounce feet away from the cup instead of in it.
Carpenter missed the cut the next year and nearly did so again at the 2012 event, which was the first time the Southern Amateur was played at Chenal Country Club. In the second round, Carpenter had one hole to play to make the cut before a storm rolled in and forced him to return the next day.
"I was in bed that night thinking that I have played that final hole a thousand times and might have made 20 bogeys," Carpenter said. "I came back the next morning, made my par and got to play the next two days. It was cool having my family and friends around."
Peter Williamson defeated Bobby Wyatt in a playoff on the third extra hole to win that championship. Carpenter finished tied for 60th.
A former standout on the ASGA junior scene before winning last year's state championship, Long, 21, tied for 22nd last year but shot a final-round 79 after going into the round tied for eighth and five strokes behind the leader. He tied for 67th in 2017 but was in contention before shooting 78 in the tournament's final round.
"Again, I was in the hunt last year, tried to make something happen the last day," said Long, who will play the Southern Am and for the University of Houston along with former Fayetteville teammate Matt Cole, who is coming from Arkansas State University as a graduate transfer. "I just compounded mistakes the final day and got buried down the board. The guy who was leading it didn't make any mistakes and no one could catch him.
"The experience was good. I just didn't end up how I wanted. I should have stuck with my game plan because it seemed to work the entire week up until that point. Just tried to make things happen and didn't pull off the shots."
A transfer from Tennessee-Chattanooga, Long sat out last year with the Cougars but played in the team's qualifying events and continued to work on his game in advance of his summer schedule.
"I was able to focus on academics and improve my game," said Long, who received an exemption into the Southern Amateur and is playing Chenal for the first time this week. "From what I understand, the scores should be pretty low. So I am going to keep my foot on the gas the whole time, try to dial in my wedges and make sure I am hitting it good off the tee, then put a good stroke on it on the greens."
Southern Am pairings
• First-round tee times for the Southern Amateur Championship:
Chenal Country Club, Founders Course
7:30 AM Sam Choi, Sam Goldenring, Brad Reeves
7:40 AM Tyson Reeder, McCain Schellhardt, Chris Woollam
7:50 AM Darcy Brereton, Griffin Barela, Shiso Go
8:00 AM Luke Long (Fayetteville), Ryoto Furuya, Tyler Johnson
8:10 AM Kyle Hogan, Brandon Einstein, Paul Gonzalez
8:20 AM Easton Paxton, Brock Ochsenreiter, Thomas Johnson
8:30 AM Cole Anderson, Blake McShea, Brice Wilkinson
8:40 AM Marco Steyn, Michael Sanders, Connor Gaunt (Cabot)
8:50 AM Varun Chopra, AJ Beechler, Ford Clegg
9:00 AM Sam Bennett, Khavish Varadan, Hunter Dunagan
9:10 AM Matthew Cole (Fayetteville), Daniel Kim, Manuel Lozada
9:20 AM Chip Thomas, Jimmie Massie, Paul Chaplet
9:30 AM Sean Meehan, Sean Wilcox, Brandon Smith
9:40 AM Cooper Sears, Philip Nijoka, Cody Banach
12:30 PM Quade Cummins, Garrett May (Hope), Chandler Phillips
12:40 PM Peter Kuest, Jordan Hahn, Tripp Kinney
12:50 PM Hayden Springer, Trey Winstead, Kyle Michel
1:00 PM Luca Filippi, Hunter Wolcott, Mason Overstreet (Arkansas Razorbacks)
1:10 PM Blake Collyer, Jack Thompson, Brandon Smith
1:20 PM Parker Coody, Cooper Dossey, Julian Perico (Razorbacks)
1:30 PM Billy Tom Sargent, Blaine Hale, Wilson Furr
1:40 PM Charles Hillier, Isaiah Jackson, Philip Barbaree
1:50 PM Haydn Barron, Travis Vick, Eric Bae
2:00 PM Aaron Terrazas, Hayden Hopewell, Julien Sale (Arkansas State)
2:10 PM Andy Schonbaum, Walker Lee, Andre Lautee
2:20 PM Kaiwen Liu, Kyler Tate, Graysen Huff
2:30 PM AJ Ott, Turk Pettit, William Buhl (Razorbacks)
7:30 AM Levi Valadez, Trey Bosco, William Wann
7:40 AM Sam Goldasich, Mark Reppe, Steffen Smith
7:50 AM Charlie Flynn, John Keefer, Collin Clark
8:00 AM Jack Parker, Jackson Lalonde, Allen Hamilton
8:10 AM Austin Rose, Nick Giles, Alex Goff
8:20 AM Brian Richards, Stewart Slayden, Jordan Plunkett
8:30 AM Sean Butscher, Jay Kirchdorfer, Amadeo Figus
8:40 AM Oliver Whatley, Nick Duggan, Micah Goulas
8:50 AM Lane Wallace, Lucas Armstrong, Connor Asarch
9:00 AM Hayden White, Dawson McDaniel, Mason Nome
9:10 AM Garrett Johnson, Tom Forster, Leon D'Souza
9:20 AM Jack Ireland, Michael Sass, Lucas Park
9:30 AM Cole Bradley, James Leow, Jesus Montenegro
9:40 AM Cooper Sears, Philip Nijoka, Cody Banach
12:30 PM Kerry Mountcastle, Colin Kober, Caleb Proveaux
12:40 PM Brayden Garrison, Koichiro Ishika, Harry Hillier
12:50 PM Drew Mathers, Sam Meek, Christopher Crabtree
1:00 PM William Walker, Agustin Segundo Oliva Pinto, Blake Hathcoat
1:10 PM Logan Sowell, Ben Reichert, Jamie Wilson
1:20 PM Kyle Cottam, Eduardo Carrete, Matthew Mclean
1:30 PM Ryan Grider, Jimmy Zheng, Miguel Delgado
1:40 PMLuis Gerardo Garza, Eddy Lai, Noah Woolsey
1:50 PM Blake Wagoner, Matthew Sharpstene, Ashton Poole
2:00 PM Aiden Didone, Michael Mattiace, Marcus Byrd
2:10 PM Cody Argade, Kymer Li, Devyn Pappas
2:20 PM Andrew Spear, Scott Steed, Nick Costello
2:30 PM John McGoogan, Greyson Porter, Wil Gibson
Southern Am past champions, locations
2018 Patrick Cover, Club at Olde Stone, Bowling Green, Ky.
2017 Karl Vilips, Country Club of North Carolina, Pinehurst, N.C.
2016 Jimmy Stanger, Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
2015 Taylor Funk, Old Waverly Golf Club, West Point, Miss.
2014 MJ Maguire, Honors Course, Ooltewah, Tenn.
2013 Zachary Olsen, Club at Carlton Woods, The Woodlands, Texas
2012 Peter Williamson, Chenal Country Club, Little Rock
2011 Harris English, Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbor, Fla.
2010 Alex Carpenter (Little Rock), Shoal Creek, Shoal Creek, Ala.
2009 Gregor Main, Colonial Country Club, Cordova, Tenn.
2008 Kyle Stanley, Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, Orlando, Fla.
2007 Webb Simpson, Country Club of North Carolina, Pinehurst, N.C.
2006 Kyle Stanley, Country Club of Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala.
2005 Webb Simpson, Dunes Golf & Beach Club, North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
2004 Michael Sim, Honors Course, Ooltewah, Tenn.
2003 Casey Wittenberg, Homestead (Cascades Course), Hot Springs, Va.
2002 Lee Williams, East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta
2001 Cody Freeman, Crown Colony Country Club, Lufkin, Texas
2000 Ryan Hybl, Atlanta Athletic Club, Duluth, Ga.
1999 Edward Loar, Ocean Forest Golf Club, Sea Island, Ga.
1998 Kris Maffet, Country Club of Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala.
1997 Ed Brooks, Mira Vista Golf Club, Fort Worth
1996 Rob Manor, Country Club of North Carolina, Pinehurst, N.C.
1995 Lee Eagleton, Holston Hills Country Club, Knoxville, Tenn.
1994 Trey Sones, Lake Nona Golf Club, Orlando, Fla.
1993 Justin Leonard, Farm Golf Club, Rocky Face, Ga.
1992 Justin Leonard, Oak Tree Country Club, Edmond, Okla.
1991 Bill Brown, Country Club of Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala.
1990 Jason Widener, Country Club of North Carolina, Pinehurst, N.C.
1989 Jason Widener, Grand Cypress Resort, Orlando, Fla.
1988 Joe Hamorski, Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
1987 Rob McNamara, Crown Colony Country Club, Lufkin, Texas
1986 Rob McNamara, Honors Course, Ooltewah, Tenn.
1985 Len Mattiace, Country Club of North Carolina, Pinehurst, N.C.
1984 Scott Dunlap, Bay Hill Club, Orlando, Fla.
1983 Pat Stephens, Holston Hills Country Club, Knoxville, Tenn.
1982 Steve Lowery. Moss Creek Plantation, Hilton Head, S.C.
1981 Mark Brooks, Innisbrook, Tarpon Springs, Fla.
1980 Bob Tway, Champions Golf Club, Houston
1979 Rafael Alacron, Country Club of North Carolina, Pinehurst, N.C.
1978 Jim Woodard, Innisbrook, Tarpon Springs, Fla.
1977 Lindy Miller, Snee Farm Country Club, Charleston, S.C.
1976 Tim Simpson, Colonial Country Club, Memphis
1975 Marvin Giles, Pinehurst Country Club, Pinehurst, N.C.
1974 Danny Yates, Bay Hill Club, Orlando, Fla.
1973 Ben Crenshaw, Champions Golf Club, Houston
1972 Bill Rogers, Green Island Country Club, Columbus, Ga.
1971 Ben Crenshaw, Country Club of North Carolina, Pinehurst, N.C.
1970 Lanny Wadkins, Lakewood Country Club, New Orleans
1969 Hubert Green, Belle Meade Country Club, Nashville, Tenn.
1968 Lanny Wadkins, Lost Tree Club, North Palm Beach, Fla.
1967 Marvin Giles III, James River Club, Richmond, Va.
1966 Hubert Green, Country Club of Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala.
1965 Billy Joe Patton, Pinehurst Country Club, Pinehurst, N.C.
1964 Dale Morey, Shreveport Country Club, Shreveport
1963 Mike Malarkey, Coosa Country Club, Rome, Ga.
1962 Walter "Bunky" Henry, Ellinor Village Country Club, Ormond Beach, Fla.
1961 Billy Joe Patton, Holston Hills Country Club, Knoxville, Tenn.
1960 Charles B. Smith, Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
1959 Richard Crawford (El Dorado), Jackson Country Club, Jackson, Miss.
1958 Hugh Royer Jr., Country Club of Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala.
1957 Ed Brantly, La Gorce Country Club, Miami Beach, Fla.
1956 Arnold Blum, Druid Hills Golf Club, Atlanta
1955 Charlie Harrison, Linville Golf Club, Linville, N.C.
1954 Joe Conrad, Memphis Country Club, Memphis
1953 Joe Conrad, Lakewood Country Club, Dallas
1952 Gay Brewer, Holston Hills Country Club, Knoxville, Tenn.
1951 Arnold Blum, Country Club of Columbus, Columbus, Ga.
1950 Dale Morey, New Orleans Country Club, New Orleans
1949 Tommy Barnes, Biltmore Forest Country Club, Asheville, N.C.
1948 Gene Dahlbender Jr., Capital City Club, Atlanta
1947 Tommy Barnes, Audubon Country Club, Louisville, Ky.
1946 George Hamer, Country Club of Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala.
1942-45 No championship held
1941 Sam Perry, Country Club of Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala.
1940 Neil White, Chattanooga Golf & Country Club, Chattanooga, Tenn.
1939 Bobby Dunkelberger, Belle Meade Country Club, Nashville, Tenn.
1938 Carl Dann Jr., Ponte Vedra Country Club, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
1937 Fred Haas Jr., Charlotte Country Club, Charlotte, N.C.
1936 Jack Munger, Memphis Country Club, Memphis
1935 Bobby Riegel, Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, Va.
1934 Fred Haas Jr., New Orleans Country Club, New Orleans
1933 Ralph Redmond, East Lake Country Club, Atlanta
1932 Sam Perry, Country Club of Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala.
1931 Chasteen Harris, Chattanooga Golf & Country Club, Chattanooga, Tenn.
1930 R.E. Spicer Jr., Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, N.C.
1929 Sam Perry, Belle Meade Country Club, Nashville, Tenn.
1928 Watts Gunn, Brook Hollow Country Club, Dallas
1927 Harry Ehle, Charlotte Country Club, Charlotte, N.C.
1926 R.E. Spicer Jr., Memphis Country Club, Memphis
1925 Glenn Crisman, Biltmore Forest Country Club, Biltmore, N.C.
1924 Jack Wenzler, Louisville Country Club, Louisville, Ky.
1923 Perry Adair, Roebuck Golf & Automobile Club, Birmingham, Ala.
1922 R.T. Jones Jr.. East Lake Country Club, Atlanta
1921 Perry Adair, Belle Meade Country Club, Nashville, Tenn.
1920 R.T. Jones Jr., Chattanooga Golf & Country Club, Chattanooga, Tenn.
1919 Nelson Whitney, New Orleans Country Club, New Orleans
1918 No championship held
1917 R.T. Jones Jr., Roebuck Golf & Automobile Club, Birmingham, Ala.
1916 R.G. Bush, Dallas Country Club, Dallas
1915 C.L. Dexter, East Lake Country Club, Atlanta
1914 Nelson Whitney, Memphis Country Club, Memphis
1913 Nelson Whitney, Montgomery Country Club, Montgomery, Ala.
1912 W.P. Stewart, Chattanooga Golf & Country Club, Chattanooga, Tenn.
1911 W.P. Stewart, Nashville Golf & Country Club, Nashville, Tenn.
1910 F.G. Byrd, East Lake Country Club, Atlanta
1909 J.P. Edrington, Memphis Country Club, Memphis
1908 Nelson Whitney, Memphis Country Club, Memphis
1907 Nelson Whitney, East Lake Country Club, Atlanta
1906 Leigh Carroll, Audubon Golf Club, New Orleans
1905 A.H. Manson, Savannah Golf Club, Savannah, Ga.
1904 Andrew Manson, Louisville Country Club, Louisville, Ky.
1903 A.W. Gaines, Swananno Golf Club, Asheville, N.C.
1902 A.F. Schwartz, Nashville Golf & Country Club, Nashville, Tenn.
Sports on 07/17/2019
Print Headline: Eyes on the prize: Southern Amateur remains big deal