Medlin, McLaughlin Share Little River Pro-Am Title
Scott Medlin and Adam McLaughlin shared a house together a few years ago. On Monday, they shared the championship in the annual Sandhills Hospitality Charity Pro-Am at Little River Farm Golf Resort.
The M&M boys set the pace in the 32-team field with 3-under-par 69s on a course that held its own despite perfect conditions and pin placements that were more lenient than in past events.
Only five professionals were under par, with Dale Fogarty of Anderson Creek Golf Club taking third with 70, and Chad Gilligan of Pinehurst Country Club and Jamie Johnson of National Golf Club at 71.
"Frankly, we thought the scores would be lower," said Marvin Water, Little River director of golf. "Danny Barrett was low professional last year with 71, but we had the course set up at just a little over 6,300 yards this year, and the pins were a lot friendlier.
"The course plays tough because our greens are small, fast and undulating. They're only going to reward good approach shots."
Former roommates Medlin and McLaughlin obviously hit some good approaches.
Medlin, an assistant professional at Pinehurst Country Club, made five birdies and only two bogeys. McLaughlin, an assistant at Alamance Country Club, made four birdies and an eagle, but had three bogeys.
"Our team started on the seventh hole, and I was two-under after four holes," McLaughlin said. "Then I just kind of played it around until we got to our finishing hole, No. 6, and I made an eagle-3."
McLaughlin, a 27-year-old who hits the ball 290 to 300 yards off the tee, had a tap-in from about 15 inches for the eagle on the 487-yard par-5.
"I can't believe the condition of this course," he said. "I played here a couple of times a few years ago, and this is the first time I've seen it since they made all the changes. I had heard people talking about it, but I couldn't believe how much better it is."
In a release from the North Carolina Golf Panel this week, Little River has been voted No. 89 among the Top 100 courses in the state.
Medlin, a 40-year-old who has spent periods of time on various tours, including the PGA Tour, was more familiar with the Dan Maples layout, but he too was impressed by the changes and the condition.
"I've played here 15 or 20 times," he said, 'but the course is in the best condition I've ever seen it. It was fun to play today. I was a little surprised that I scored as well as I did because they can put the pins on this course where you can't shoot a good score.
"I hit a whole lot of greens, but didn't hit very many shots close to the pin. I had a lot of birdie putts, though. They also had the tees a little forward and that helped the scoring."
Brandon Honeycutt of Sanford Golf Club led his team to a winning score of 56.6 in the modified scramble team format. His amateurs were Jonathan Blackard, Craig Sturdivant and Marty Wicker.
Stuart Taylor of Whispering Woods Golf Club and amateurs Sam Dawkins, Don Caffee and Debbie Stark claimed second place in the team event with 57.6.
Teams led by Barrett and McLaughlin tied for third with 58.8.
Waters was delighted with the full-field turnout as well as the praise players heaped upon the course.
"I think everyone had a good time," he said, "and it was great the way everyone was complimenting the conditions of the course.
"Our superintendent, Chris Lassiter, said he was so nervous he couldn't sleep Sunday night, and I know I was."
The pro-am is sponsored by the Sandhills Hospitality Association, presented by Little River Golf Resort Properties and benefits Sandhills Community College.
"We raised $2,000 for the college last year," Waters said, "and we haven't totaled things up this year, but I'm sure we doubled that. We had 32 teams this year compared to only 26 a year ago."
Waters thinks the success of the event comes from a couple of reasons.
"First of all, it's a good cause," he said, "and people get behind it. Also, we're very aggressive in asking our fellow professionals and local residents to come out and play.
"Also, we've had great weather, and that plays a big part. Plus, the word is getting around about our new look here, and a lot of people want to come out and experience it."
More like this story