After winning ACC title as freshman, Peter Fountain moving toward Raleigh’s golf elite

There’s not quite a lot of golf historical past left to be made across the Triangle however Peter Fountain managed to make some final weekend, changing into the primary freshman to win the ACC males’s golf title in 15 years, and the primary to do it at North Carolina.

For the 20-year-old Broughton grad, it was the excessive level — to this point — of a two-year run that has seen him win the North Carolina Amateur, end as low novice on the North Carolina Open and steadily climb the world novice rankings.

After Fountain held off N.C. State fifth-year senior Benjamin Shipp to win the title by a stroke, his second faculty win of his freshman season, he felt for the primary time like he belonged among the many firmament of golfers he grew up idolizing or competing towards, from pros like Webb Simpson, 2017 U.S. Amateur champ Doc Redman and 19-year-old Akshay Bhatia to his older brothers who performed at Davidson and North Carolina.

“I would say yes,” Fountain mentioned. “It’s just cool being able to grow up in Raleigh and there’s so many good golfers. It’s a blessing to be able to grow up in that and have older brothers that definitely pushed me every day. The ACC championship helped me push me toward that, I believe.”

Fountain’s sizzling streak got here to an finish Tuesday at Duke, the place he completed six photographs from moving on at a U.S. Open native qualifier, however the Tar Heels will discover out Wednesday the place they’re headed for NCAA regionals, and Fountain has emerged as a key participant for North Carolina, seventh within the newest Golfweek rankings.

That would be the finish of a busy spring and the start of a busier summer season. The ACC title bumped Fountain as much as sixtieth within the World Amateur Golf Rankings, solely 10 spots from an exemption into the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont. He’s now seventh amongst Americans 20 or youthful, and a robust NCAA exhibiting might transfer him into the highest 50 earlier than he’s scheduled to qualify for the U.S. Am in Asheboro in June.

His remaining schedule contains the North & South Amateur at Pinehurst and the Western Amateur, however he’ll miss defending his N.C. Am title to play within the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur in Johnston, Pa., which incorporates amongst its previous winners one Webb Simpson.

While Simpson performed his faculty golf at Wake Forest, the Broughton connection is powerful between the 2.

“I look up to Webb Simpson the most, because he’s such a good dude but he’s also just an amazing player,” Fountain mentioned. “I feel like he’s, I would say, my role model. And honestly, just my older brothers are the people I look up to the most in golf because I can ask them anything and they’ve been in the same situation. They’re my mentors for golf.”

Simpson was the ACC freshman of the 12 months in 2005, however he completed tied for thirteenth within the ACC championship. Fountain’s early success on the in-state novice circuit and now at North Carolina has actually raised questions whether or not he might doubtlessly be the Triangle’s subsequent nice golfer. Jay Haas, in 1973, is amongst 10 different freshmen to win the ACC. The final was Georgia Tech’s Cameron Tringale in 2006, who has revamped $13 million on the PGA Tour.

Fountain isn’t fascinated with that fairly but.

“It’s cool, but we’re all out there for a reason,” Fountain mentioned. “When I’m out there, I’m not looking at it like we’re freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors. I’m competing against the same guy. All the guys, the year they are doesn’t mean much to me. It’s definitely cool to win it as a freshman. Three more chances now.”

Sports columnist Luke DeCock has lined 4 Final Fours, the Summer Olympics, the Super Bowl and the Carolina Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup. He joined The News & Observer in 2000 to cowl the Hurricanes and the NHL earlier than changing into a columnist in 2008. A local of Evanston, Ill., he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and has gained a number of nationwide and state awards for his columns and have writing whereas twice being named North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year.

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