IOWA CITY — Ned Carter said that one year he will put his name on the trophy for the Iowa City men’s amateur golf tournament.
To do that, though, he knows he needs to beat Chad McCarty.
McCarty captured his 14th title in the tournament Sunday, besting Carter by one stroke after a one-hole playoff at Pleasant Valley Golf Course in Iowa City.
“We should almost call it the Chad McCarty Open,” Carter said with a laugh.
Carter and McCarty were tied to begin the third and final round. Both were one stroke behind recent Iowa City West graduate Kyle Spence.
Spence set the pace after Friday’s first round, shooting 7-under at Saddleback Ridge in Solon, a round which included five birdies and an eagle. Spence maintained his tournament lead after the second round at Finkbine Golf Course on Saturday, shooting 73.
Carter won the second round with a 67 and secured a spot in the final foursome.
Carter led after the front nine Sunday, but McCarty, a West Branch native and former golfer for the University of Iowa, birdied on the 15th and 16th holes to tie the match. They matched each other stroke for stroke on the 17th and 18th, then returned to the first hole for the playoff. Both reached the green in their second shots, and both came close to sinking their first putts. After McCarty tapped in, Carter’s putt to maintain the tie rimmed out.
Carter said the hardest part about the tournament and playing three different courses in three days is learning the speed of the greens. They are different for each course, he said, and he likes to arrive early to learn the speeds.
“That’s the important part of the game, making putts,” he said, “as I proved on the (playoff) hole there that I didn’t make enough.”
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Eleven carts filled with family, friends, and casual observers gathered around the players during the final holes. Despite all the eyes on him, McCarty said he feels more pressure on the first tee than he does at the end.
After 14 titles in the tournament, it is pressure he has gotten used to handling.
“He’s an incredibly great competitor,” Carter said about McCarty. “Every year I try to throw everything at him that I can to see if anything sticks, and that’s as close as I’ve been. I gave him all I had.