Carolina Winter Series: C.G. Mercatoris wins at Panthers Run

Paul Brown, Adam Hart finish T2


Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. – November 8, 2012 – Former Robert Morris University standout C.G. Mercatoris earned his first professional victory on Thursday in the NGA TOUR Carolina Winter Series event at Panthers Run.

C.J. Mercatoris wins at Panthers Run

C.G. Mercatoris wins at Panthers Run


After holding at least a share of the lead from the outset, Mercatoris of Brookville, Pa., survived a final-round 75 to best Adam Hart and Paul Brown by two shots en route to his inaugural victory.


“After turning pro, I decided to approach this as a job,” said Mercatoris, who earned $5,000. “I’ve been working with a personal trainer for three months, working out and practicing about 10 hours a day. Not to sound cliché, but it’s a process.”


And one that worked this week.


Mercatoris and Brown held a share of the first-round lead after opening with 69s, but Mercatoris pulled ahead with a Wednesday-best 67, giving him a one-stroke leading going into Thursday’s final round.


“I tried to keep the blinders on and not turn it into a match play situation with Paul,” said Mercatoris, “because out here someone can come out of the field and catch you in a hurry.”


But it was hard not to notice Brown, considering the former College of Charleston standout held the lead going to the 16th tee.  After winning last week, Brown of Hartsville, S.C., looked to be en route to another Carolina Series victory until a pair of late double bogeys dropped him from contention.


With Brown’s missteps, Mercatoris needed only to two-putt from four foot on the final hole to claim the victory, but he only needed one. Mercatoris finished with rounds of 69-67-75 for a 5-under 211 total.


“I kept the ball in play off the tee, which was key because we had ball in hand due to the weather and that allowed my iron play to get me in position,” said Mercatoris. “I had a phone call with my father regarding putting, and he reminded me to work on speed without mechanics and it worked well this week.”


While the leaders struggled down the stretch, Hart, a former Francis Marion University standout from Blythewood, S.C., moved into contention with a 1-under 71 on Thursday. Hart joined Brown (76) in a tie for second at 3-under par.


Drew Ernst of Seneca, S.C., shot a 72 in the final round to finish fourth at 2-under par, while Yoshio Yamamoto (70) and Jordan Walor (72) finished T5 at 1-under par.


Jessie Massie (71) finished seventh at even par, while Zack Byrd (70) and Sam Lyons (73) finished T8 at 2 over.


The NGA TOUR would like to thank all the players and staff at Panthers Run for a great week of play. The Carolina Series will return to action next week at Aberdeen Country Club in Longs, S.C.


The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Tours and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Tour Professionals.


The NGA has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA TOUR, Euro,, and Champions Tour cards. In fact, NGA alumni have won an incredible Fifteen (15) “Major” Championships.


NGA alumni include: 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson; 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley; 2010 PGA TOUR Player of the Year and 2003 US Open Champion Jim Furyk; 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink; 2009 U.S. Open Champion Lucas Glover; 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson; 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel; 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis; two-time U.S. Open Champion Lee Janzen; British Open and PGA Champion John Daly; British Open Champion Tom Lehman; PGA Champion David Toms; 2003 Tour Championship Winner Chad Campbell; 2010 NGA Player of the Year Michael Thompson; 2012 PGA TOUR winners Mark Wilson, George McNeill, Ted Potter Jr., Scott Stallings and Scott Piercy.


At last year’s PGA Tour Qualifying School, 52% of those earning full exempt status on the PGA TOUR and 67% of those earning full exempt status on the Tour were past NGA Professionals. Another 16 NGA Professionals advanced to the PGA TOUR for 2012 by finishing inside the Top 25 on the Tour money list, including 2011 NGA members Ted Potter Jr., Russell Knox and Billy Hurley III.


The NGA Pro Golf Tour, established in 1988, predates the Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf. In 2012, the NGA TOUR became the “Official Partner of the 2012 Reno-Tahoe Open” and secured one PGA TOUR and six Tour event exemptions for its members, the most in developmental golf.


For more information on the NGA or the NGA Pro Golf Tour, please visit our website at or contact our Tour Office at (800) 992-8748.

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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