Nick Zimmerman grew up playing golf at North Hills Country Club, and on Sunday he became the inaugural champion of the Sherwood Amateur at The Greens at North Hills.


“It’ll be nice to have my name on that trophy,” Zimmerman, 26, said after securing a three-stroke victory over Stafford Gray of Lonoke, another North Hills golfer. “This tournament is very important for the club and the community as well. The support has been great. It was a lot of fun.”


Zimmerman, of North Little Rock, shot 65-74—139, five under par. Gray rallied from a nine-stroke deficit after the first round to finish second at 74-68—142. Gordy McKeown of Little Rock took third at 77-69—146, a stroke ahead of Kevin Walker of Sherwood (71-76—147).


The win moved Zimmerman into the lead for the Arkansas State Golf Association’s Player of the Year race with four events left.


“(Saturday) was a great round,” Zimmerman said Sunday. “Today was just survival. I had a really bad short game.”


His final round opened with a double-bogey 7, and he made par the hard way on the 18th. His drive settled right of the fairway near the creek.


“My only option was to play the No. 10 fairway,” Zimmerman said. “I had probably 150 yards in.”


His approach landed in the left bunker, but he nearly holed out for birdie.


“I don’t know how it didn’t go in,” he said.


Gray said a couple of bad breaks in the first round made a big difference for him.


“On (No.) 12 I hit a really bad second shot that put me behind the 8-ball,” he said. “I think I was one back then. Then on 13 I hit a tree and went out of bounds and took a triple.


“Take those away and things might be different. But Nick was playing so good, it was fun to watch.”


In the final round, Gray pulled within two after 15 holes, but Zimmerman finished birdie, par, par.


“I had a couple of chances, but a nine-shot lead is a pretty good cushion,” Gray said.


Zimmerman, who played college golf for UA-Little Rock, said he was playing just a couple of days a week as he seeks to get into veterinary school. He credited his swing coach, Joe Ralston, for this win.


“I’ve been struggling, but I saw him last week and he straightened me out for this tournament,” Zimmerman said. “It was mainly posture, a real quick fix.


“Now I need to go find a psychiatrist.”


Tracy Harris of Little Rock won the mid-senior division by 11 strokes, shooting 71-72—143. John Tetens of Conway won the senior division (74-72—146) over Fred Stamey of Hot Springs Village (75-73—148). Bill Wrentz of Cabot won the super-senior division by 11 strokes over Gary Whitt of Cabot. Wrentz shot 72-71—143; Whitt fired 78-76—154.


Sherwood Amateur


At The Greens at North Hills


Par 72


Open


Nick Zimmerman, 65-74—139


Stafford Gray, 74-68—142


Gordy McKeown, 77-69—146


Kevin Walker, 71-76—147


Nick Crisco, 78-74—152


Benjamin Bailey, 81-78—159


Peyton Herald, 83-76—159


Hunter Walker, 80-83—163


Alex Shearer, 82-84—166


Taylor Harvey, 82-86—168


David Parkinson, 82-89—171


Landon Jackson, 90-83—173


Parker Clay, 92-82—174


Austin Clay, 83-94—177


Andrew Taylor, 86-92—178


Josh Calaway, 82-WD


Mid-Senior


Tracy Harris, 71-72—143


Trey Schaap, 77-77—154


Jeff King, 79-83—162


Senior


John Tetens, 74-72—146


Fred Stamey, 75-73—148


Mark Bradshaw, 75-77—152


Greg Connell, 79-76—155


Frank Martin, 77-80—157


Curtis Savoy, 77-85—162


Mike Pickens, 82-87—169


Super-Senior


Bill Wrentz, 72-71—143


Gary Whitt, 78-76—154


Wayne Morris, 78-77—155


Jimmy Smith, 74-82—156


Charley Jones, 78-79—157


Vic Fleming, 80-78—158


Dave Lawrence, 81-79—160


Bing Priest, 81-80—161


Floyd Hickerson, 91-83—174


Tom Reynolds, 86-91—177


Wayne Smith, 89-88—177


John Gunn, 96-89—185


Terry Hartwick, 83-WD