Archdale golfer casts Spell on Asheboro City Amateur

Joshua Spell holds the winner’s trophy. (Courtesy photo)

ASHEBORO – Joshua Spell took a page out of his occupation to help win the Asheboro City Amateur.

The Archdale man said the keys for him last weekend were “putting and the mental game.”

Spell, a mental coach for college and high school golfers, posted a one-shot victory on Steve Kidd after three rounds at three different courses.

It came down to the final hole, with Spell’s birdie on the par-5 18th at Pinewood Country Club lifting him to his first championship in the event.

Spell’s 3-under-par 69 gave him the title at 6-under 207 overall. Kidd, a Liberty man, shot 71 on the final day.

Spell, who placed third in each of the previous two years, played the final six holes in 3 under.

“I loved this round so much,” he said. “I felt the nerves so much.”

Spell, 38, began the tournament by shooting 70 at Asheboro Country Club followed by 68 at Asheboro Municipal Golf Course. Kidd shot 68 and 69 in the first two rounds.

Three-time defending champion JD Bass was third at 3 under with scores of 73, 69 and 68. Bass didn’t give up the title easily, posting Sunday’s best score.

“I think JD played awesome that last day,” Spell said.

The next three spots belonged to Stephen Spencer (1 under), Connor Carter (even) and Gary Pugh (3 over). Carter, a member of the Catawba College golf team, is a 2023 Eastern Randolph graduate and Class 1-A state runner-up in 2022 and 2023.

For Spell, a former Trinity High School golfer whose home course is Holly Ridge Golf Links in Archdale, the theme was “acceptance over expectation,” he said.

“Just accepting things and move on,” he said. “I talk about this stuff all the time.”

That was critical after he began the tournament 3 over through four holes. The shift came on the 12th hole at Asheboro Country Club, where he sank a 35-foot putt for eagle on the 12th hole.

The final foursome on the last day included Spell, Kidd, Bass and Gary Pugh, who ended up sixth at 3 over (74, 67, 75).

“It was super nice to play with Gary Pugh again,” Spell said of the fellow Holly Ridge Golf Links regular. “I was very happy to see him play in the group.”

Kidd led by one going to the back nine.

Spell said his best wedge shot of the tournament came on No. 13, leaving him a 6-foot birdie putt. He had another birdie on the 15th, where Kidd needed three putts.

Kidd’s birdie on the next hole left them tied. Spell scrambled for part on the 17th, with Kidd’s birdie putt off the mark.

Spell said he blasted his tee shot on No. 18, leaving a 171-yard 7-iron shot to the green. “When I looked up, I knew I won the tournament,” he said.

Sure enough, his birdie gave him the title.

Gary Pugh watches his shot during the “shootout” prior to last week’s Asheboro City Amateur. (PJ Ward-Brown / Randolph Record)

There were 103 total entrants.

Flight winners included Todd Spencer (first flight, 16 over), Preston Russell (second flight, 23 over) and Tim Richardson (third flight, 47 over). In the super senior flight, Michael Thompson’s 7 over was good for a four-shot edge on Kirby Cockman.

The pre-tournament “shootout,” consisting of the top 10 golfers from the pervious year’s tournament, was won by Pugh with Jeff Eddins as the runner-up. That’s a hole-by-hole elimination format at Pinewood Country Club on the day prior to the first round.

By Bob Sutton