GOLF BAG: First Tee-Tin Whistles Series Opens
The quality of golf was excellent and the competition was fierce when the inaugural First Tee of the Sandhills-Tin Whistles Tour event was held at Southern Pines Country Club last week.
Although some conflicts with school schedules hampered the size of the field, the event was hailed as an unqualified success.
Brett Walters, of Taylorville, shot 76-78 to win the 16-17 age division, beating out Matt Forbis, of Aberdeen. Katie Roberts, of Seven Lakes, and Will Rittenhouse, of Carthage, claimed third and fourth.
John Dunlap, of Hamlet, won the 14-15 age division with a 36-hole score of 154. Zach Shilen, of Hamlet, was second, followed by Bradley Chandler, of Pinehurst, and Brandon Mawyer, of Whispering Pines.
Cody Roberts, of Seven Lakes, shot 76 in the final round to defeat Josh Stockwell, of Aberdeen, by a stroke. Stockwell was still able to celebrate the hole-in-one he made on the 110-yard par-3 14th in the first round.
John Rea, of Pinehurst, won the 11 and under division, edging out Ben Chrysler and Sean Chang, of Whispering Pines.
The second tournament of the six-event tour series will be held June 23-24 at Whispering Woods Golf Club.
All competitors received points according to their order of finish, and the player with the most points will be awarded the Tour Championship trophy at the Tin Whistles Annual Banquet in December.
For more information, call 281-0299 or visit the Web site at www.thefirstteesandhills.org.
Open Qualifying: Lauren Doughtie, of Suffolk, Va., a member of the N.C. State University golf team, posted a 5-under-par 139 to take medalist honors in the U.S. Women's Open Sectional held at Pinewild Country Club's Magnolia Course last week.
Four other players earned berths in the Open, which will be played at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minn., June 26-29. They were Cydney Clanton, of Concord; Sarah Almond, of Albemarle; Marcy Hart, of High Point; and Courtney Ellenbogen, of Blacksburg, Va.
Alternates were Ashli Bunch and Garrett Philips.
Eleana Collins, of Pinehurst, tied for 18th with 148, while Adrienne Millican, of Fuquay-Varina, was at 149. Kelly Cap, of Pinehurst, tied for 30th with 154.
N.C. Open: Karl Kimball doesn't play in a lot of tournaments anymore.
The former PGA Tour player who is director of golf at Hillandale Golf Course in Hillsborough obviously still knows how to get the job done, however.
Kimball, who also serves as the Carolinas PGA Section vice president, posted three consecutive rounds under par to win the North Carolina Open held at St. James Plantation's Reserve Club last week.
The win was Kimball's first major section win in eight years and the first tournament he has played in since December 2007.
The week started well for Kimball, who won the Monday pro-am with a 66. To prove that was no fluke, he went on to shoot 69-70-71 for a 6-under-par 210 that was two shots better than Nate Olivo, of Pinehurst.
"You know, this just goes to show that if you just get out and play a little bit, you can catch lightning in a bottle," Kimball said. "Coming up 18, I just had so many great thoughts of my family and the kids I've been fortunate enough to get to know through the Hearts Club at Hillandale, Sammy, Olivia, and Enrique. I could hear my son in my head encouraging me and I knew I had to put it away and get a shot on the green."
Kimball had put up 11 pars in a row before he finally made birdie on 12. A bogey on the par-3 13th brought him back to even on the day and the pressure was on as he made his way to the par-5 17th.
A few groups ahead of him, Olivo had made a late run, and was sitting in the clubhouse one shot back after carding three birdies in his final nine holes to put him at 68 (-4) on the day.
"I turned at one-under and I told myself to birdie every hole on the back," Olivo said. I came up with a solid three."
Olivo lipped out his birdie putt on 18 which would have put him in a tie with Kimball at 5-under. But that was before Kimball got to 17. Kimball made a clutch birdie there, and he made his final walk to the 18th tee at 6-under on the tournament, two strokes ahead. An inspired second shot from the right rough on 18 put the tournament in the bag.
Other notables of the day included Simon McGreal (Greensboro, N.C.) who shot a 68 (-4) to tie for 12th in the tournament. Host Head PGA Professional Steve Isley (Oak Island, N.C.) followed closely by a crowd of St. James residents, shot par on the day and par for the tournament to tie for 9th.
Kelly Mitchum, of Southern Pines, a lead instructor at Pinehurst Resort's Golf Academy, tied for fourth with 214. Scott Medlin, of Hamlet, an assistant professional at Bayonet at Puppy Creek, tied for ninth with 216.
Bobby Cooke, of Carthage, head professional at Gates Four Golf and Country Club in Fayetteville, tied for 22nd with 222. Jack Ulrich, an amateur from Southern Pines shot 227.
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