Last year, Bailey Patrick Jr. shot a 64 in the final round of the N.C. Amateur Championship to finish one stroke out of first place.
This year, he set a new career best in the first round of the N.C. Amateur: a 9-under 62, which is also a competitive course record at the par-71 Carolina Golf Club. The record gave him a three-shot lead entering into Friday’s second round.
“It’s hard to carry one round from a year ago to this year, but it kind of seemed that way.” Patrick, a Charlotte native, said. “I started off hitting it about three feet from the first hole and just felt good after that. It was a good day.”
But after starting off by birdieing the 10th hole (his first hole of the day), Patrick, 21, ran into trouble with a double bogey on 11 after getting a little too bold with his shot selection.
“I was trying to make bogey once I saw my third shot,” Patrick said, “but I just made double. But I stayed patient I didn’t get down on myself after that.”
Patrick came back firing on all cylinders with six birdies and an eagle over the next nine holes. He sunk nearly every put he had between the 12th and 2nd holes.
“He putted well, he made everything,” his pairing partner Paul Simson of Raleigh, a four-time N.C. Amateur winner, said. “It was the Bailey Patrick show.”
Patrick capped off the round with his second eagle of the day on the eighth hole by sinking a 40-foot putt. That was the cherry on top for the University of North Carolina rising senior, although he’s not expecting to repeat this performance Friday.
“I don’t have a score in mind,” Patrick said in response to what he’s shooting for tomorrow. “I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. I made a ton of putts today. There’s no way I’m can keep making that many puts, but if I can just keep hitting greens and giving myself looks, I should be able to keep it under par and have a chance to win come Sunday.”
John Eades, also of Charlotte, finished the opening round in second with a 6-under 65, and Greensboro’s Scott Harvey was a shot back at 66 (5-under), while last year’s champion Steve Brame finished the day tied for eighth after shooting a 68 (3-under).