Golf Bag: Area V Event Moves to Pinehurst
Continuing preparations on Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club for its third U.S. Women's Open Championship in 11 years next summer has forced a change in the Carolinas PGA Area V Tournament Players Series Schedule.
The Area V tournament, originally scheduled for Aug. 14 at Pine Needles, has been rescheduled for Sept. 5 on Pinehurst Resort's No. 6 Course.
The tournament is the third in a four-tournament schedule that concludes in November. It allows professional golfers from Moore and surrounding counties to compete in organized, highly competitive tournaments for sponsor-augmented purses without having to travel hundreds of miles or spend a fortune for accommodations.
Jason Cox, a professional who oversees the Carolinas Golf Association's junior program, won the inaugural tour with partner Todd Camplin, an assistant professional at Pinehurst Resort's No. 7 Course. They teamed for a better-ball 65 on the Pinehurst No. 8 Course that topped a field of 40 players.
Mike Townsend, an assistant professional from Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, shot a 3-under-par 69 to win the most recent event, held on Country Club of North Carolina's Cardinal Course. He won $275.
Jamie Johnson, an assistant at National Golf Club, shot 70 to finish a stroke back and picked up $209. Travis Hall, a former assistant at CCNC who is now the head professional at Bayonet at Puppy Creek, was third with 71, earning $182.
Cox was unable to participate because of his involvement with the CGA's junior activities, but Camplin posted a 73 and tied with Gus Ulrich of Forest Creek Golf Club for fourth place.
Chad Gilligan of Pinehurst No. 7 and Mike Way of Richmond Pines in Rockingham were at 74.
The total purse was $1,102 and sponsors for the event included Wal-Mart, Mark Packard of BB&T and Cleveland Golf representative Danny Kirby.
"We obviously want to thank Jeff Dotson, the director of Golf at CCNC and his staff for allowing us to conduct our event at their club," said Scott Ellender, the head professional at Pinehurst Country Club, one of the event's organizers and a member of the Series Committee.
"The golf course was in fantastic shape, and it was a real treat for our local professionals to play a competitive tournament round at such a world-class club and facility."
The two-man tournament scheduled for Pinehurst No. 6 is being sponsored by Wal-Mart, Golf Augusta and attorney Bucky Adams. Twenty-five percent of the sponsorship money goes directly to the First Tee of the Sandhills program.
Players have an option of paying a $60 entry fee or donating three hours of their time to teaching juniors who are involved with The First Tee.
"Many of our local professionals have opted to donate their time and have marveled at how well run The First Tee program is and how much they enjoyed instructing our local juniors," Ellender said.
The final tournament of the year will be a two-person pro-pro event held at National Golf Club Nov. 20. Persons interested in becoming a sponsor for one of these events can contact Ellender at 235-8122.
Sanchez Wins: David Sanchez, the former N.C. State star who works part-time at Pinehurst Resort's Golf Advantage School, returned from his foray onto the PGA Tour with a flourish, using a final-round 64 to win the Tarheel Tour event held at Skybrook Golf Club in Huntersville.
Only a week earlier, Sanchez had qualified for the PGA Tour's B.C. Open in Verona, N.Y., where he missed the cut by a stroke.
Sanchez began the final round three shots behind the Jason Martin, Derek Brown and Dustin Bray.
"My driver was pretty crooked, but I was able to get away with it everywhere except number nine, where I made bogey," Sanchez said after picking up an $11,000 check for his second Tarheel Tour win. "I knew I was close all day, but I didn't really focus on the leader board.
"I felt comfortable this week because this is a much less stressful atmosphere than a PGA Tour event; however, I didn't feel that great about my game after missing the cut in the B.C. Open. I really didn't know what to expect."
The next tour event is in Marshville for the Eagle Chase Classic at Eagle Chase Golf Club on Aug. 15-17. For more information, visit www.tarheeltour.com.
Senior Amateur: Alan Dirk of Sanford shot a 2-under-par 70 to win his Harris Teeter Senior Tour debut event at Tot Hill Farm Golf Club in Asheboro.
Dirk eagled the 469-yard, par-5 18th hole, his first in the shotgun start, and never looked back, nipping Jim Eskridge of Greensboro by one shot to capture the Championship Flight victory. Pinehurst's Ken Eichele registered a 75 to take third.
Proving that his opening eagle was no fluke, Dirk went on to drive the 368-yard, par-4 10th hole, resulting in a two-putt birdie, and followed that with a 2 on the 186-yard, par-3 11th.
"My buddy Fred (Berman, also a Harris Teeter Tour member from Sanford) said this Tour was a lot of fun," Dirk said. "He was right and I'll be looking forward to playing in a number of events this year."
Dudley Barnette of Cary shot 76 to win Flight A, two strokes clear of Pinehurst's William Hiner and Greensboro's Vic Robertson. George Shadwick of Pinehurst was fourth with 80.
"It's always good to see a new member make a splash in his first event," said Tour Director Bruce Hallenbeck, "but Dirk's showing today went beyond what you'd normally expect from anyone just starting out. We've still got a number of events left this season, and I hope to see some other Tour rookies make an impact."
For information about playing in a Harris Teeter Tour event, call Hallenbeck at (919) 499-9749, or email him at email@example.com.
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