Since the No. 8 North Carolina men's golf team began to tee off in January, first-year Peter Fountain has become an essential contributor to the team's success.
The Raleigh native has spent his life devoted to the game, and became interested in the sport at a young age. His older brothers, Richard and Preyer, played golf at Davidson and UNC, respectively, and were the biggest influence on him falling in love with the game.
“Naturally, I was drawn to it,” Fountain said. “I wanted to be like them.”
Fountain committed to UNC during his first year of high school and made a name for himself well before he graduated. He was ranked No. 1 in the state in the class of 2020 by Junior Golf Scoreboard and No. 2 by Golfweek. Fountain led Broughton High School to a state title during his sophomore year and won the 2019 4-A North Carolina State Championship as an individual his junior year by eight strokes.
In the summer leading up to his first year at UNC, Fountain finished second in the Carolinas Amateur and won the North Carolina Amateur Championship, at which he defeated UNC-Greensboro graduate and Oklahoma transfer Jonathan Brightwell in extra holes.
He was also named the 2020 Richard S. Tufts Men’s Golfer of the Year, which he considers the biggest accomplishment of his young career.
“I got so much joy out of playing in tournaments,” Fountain said.
The promising young golfer has not disappointed since he made his debut at North Carolina. In his first collegiate tournament, the Camp Creek Seminole Invitational, Fountain shot a 68 in his first round as a Tar Heel and finished second in the event. He was only five shots behind winner Jacob Bridgeman of Clemson.
On March 1, Fountain and his teammate, sophomore Austin Greaser, led North Carolina to the best 18-hole score of the day in the second round of the Wake Forest Invitational at Pinehurst No. 2. Fountain ended up tying for second place individually and the Tar Heels finished second as a team.
Though his first season as a Tar Heel has barely begun, Fountain already feels at home.
“UNC has always been my dream school,” he said.
While Fountain is grateful to be at UNC, the team is also grateful to have him. Both head coach Andrew DiBitetto and fifth-year senior Austin Hitt referred to the golfer as “happy go lucky.”
DiBitetto has known Fountain since he attended a golf camp at UNC when Fountain was younger, and Hitt has also known Fountain for many years after playing alongside Preyer at North Carolina.
“He is the overall package of an incredible young man — extremely kind, extremely humble, but also very competitive and he has a lot of talent,” DiBitetto said.
Fountain and Hitt mentioned that the team competes internally to bring out the best in each player, but Fountain assured that the boys are still each other’s biggest fans.
"We're all really competitive," Hitt said, “Peter fits in really well."
Although his college career is still very young, there are still a number of lofty goals Fountain wants to fulfill. He hopes to win an ACC Championship and an NCAA Championship before his time at North Carolina comes to an end.
“I want to help my team in any way I can,” Fountain said. “It’s all about the Carolina family.”
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