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


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


Tracy Harris, 71-72—143

Trey Schaap, 77-77—154

Jeff King, 79-83—162


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


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