The third hole at Olympia Fields’ North Course is regarded among the best par-4s in all of golf.
The blind tee shot plays downhill to a narrow fairway bracketed by out-of-bounds left and thick rough right. The short grass runs out into Butterfield Creek in front of a perched putting surface that repels errant approaches.
It’s a really hard golf hole.
And yet, David Ford of the No. 1 North Carolina men’s golf team holed out for a two.
That shot on Saturday morning sparked a UNC blitz of the North Course. The top-ranked Tar Heels posted an 11-under-par 269 in round two of the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational to win its season-opening tournament by six shots. The Tar Heels’ 269 was the best team round in the tournament’s history, and it was good enough for an 11-shot swing over Texas on Saturday. Maxwell Ford led the team individually, finishing solo second.
It is the third consecutive year the Tar Heels have competed in the team and individual stroke play event. North Carolina won the event in 2021, and now-graduate student Austin Greaser holed out on the final hole to claim medalist honors.
This year's Tar Heel lineup at Olympia Fields included Greaser, the Ford brothers, Dylan Menante and Kenan Poole. David Ford is the reigning ACC Player of the Year, and he joined Menante and Greaser on the USA’s winning Walker Cup team two weeks ago in St. Andrews. The Tar Heels faced stiff competition, as 13 of the 15 teams were ranked.
Maxwell Ford eagled the first hole of his tournament and first as a Tar Heel on Friday en route to a 3-under 67. Meanwhile, David Ford and Greaser struggled on day one, posting rounds of 73 and 75 respectively. At the end of the first round, UNC was 1-over as a team.
“You could tell [Greaser] wasn’t pleased,” head coach Andrew DiBitetto said in a phone interview. “But by the time we were eating lunch together, he was in a great mood. That was a signal to me that his confidence is right where it needs to be.”