Playing the 50th Cumberland County Golf Championship on his home course at Gates Four Golf and Country Club, Jack Britt High School senior Spencer Oxendine wasn’t lacking for confidence.
“I told my mom if I didn’t win this thing I’m going to be pretty upset,’’ the North Carolina State University golf commit said.
He had little reason to be upset Sunday after turning in a 74-72-146 that led him to the title over previous champions Billy West and Gary Robinson.
Robinson and Thomas Owen tied for second, Robinson shooting 79- 72-151 and Owen 74-77-151. West, the defending champion, recorded a 75-77-152.
Oxendine apparently made history in the process, becoming the first CCGC champion in the tournament’s 50-year history to win the event while still attending high school.
In 1984, Pine Forest product Mitchell Perry won the title after graduating the previous June. The tournament was held in September that year. Oxendine just began his senior year at Jack Britt this fall.
Oxendine, who blistered the Gates Four course with a 62 this summer that was one shot off the course record of another Cumberland County high school star, South View’s Todd Gleaton, said his effort over the course this weekend was “nothing stellar.’’
He felt he drove the ball well and kept it in play for the most part. “I played the course how I always do,’’ he said. “I play this course very aggressive. This is not a golf course whereyou can hit it off line, because if you start to hit it off line, you can make some big numbers.’’
Oxendine’s goal was to keep the ball in play and get it on the green.
The first day he recorded four bogeys and only three birdies. He finished Sunday’s round with three birdies and three bogeys.
His near-course record 62 over the summer featured nine birdies, an eagle and one bogey.
He called the win a great confidence boost going into his senior season of golf next spring at Jack Britt and looking ahead to his freshman season with the N.C. State team a year from now.
“Winning is always good no matter what it is,’’ he said.
Oxendine said he was looking forward to playing the full three days of the tournament and was disappointed when bad weather forced cancellation of Friday’s first round.
“I was kind of upset, but there was nothing we could do about it,’’ he said “We didn’t want to tear up Stryker.’’ The tournament had been scheduled to open on Fort Bragg’s Stryker Golf Course, which would have been a first for the event.
“It didn’t change my approach,’’ he said. “My approach was I was probably going to shoot par on Stryker, maybe one or two under, then I would kind of tear it up on Gates Four. That was my mindset.’’
Photo: Spencer Oxendine and his mother, Mary Ellen Oxendine