Golf Bag: Jones Loves the Carolinas
Gene Jones may be a Florida resident, but the Champions Tour rookie has to love the Carolinas.
Jones made a reputation for himself in the Sandhills by winning six professional events here, consisting mainly of the Sunbelt Senior Tour events held at National Golf Club and Whispering Pines Golf Club.
He has lived up to that reputation on the Champions Tour, winning more than $600,000 and securing full playing privileges for 2009.
Jones' latest excursion into the fertile fields of the Carolinas came last week in Cherry Grove, S.C., where he picked up $7,500 for winning the Sunbelt Tour's South Carolina Senior Open held at Tidewater Plantation.
Naturally, Jones was the defending champion, and the Sunbelt Tour's leading money-winner in each of the past three seasons defended in spectacular fashion.
He spotted former PGA Tour player Dave Rummells seven strokes over the first two rounds, then used a 4-under-par 68 in the final round to claim the title by a shot over Rummells and Jack Ferenz..
Both Rummells and Ferenz have limited status on the Champions Tour.
A native of High Point, Jones is playing in the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover this weekend.
Special Olympics: More than 200 Special Olympics athletes are served by Moore County, and a golf tournament benefiting the program will be held at National Golf Club Oct. 20 with a 1 p.m. shotgun start.
The field will be limited to 120 players, and the entry fee is $250 per player. The format is one net best ball, using the Texas scramble in which players select the best tee ball, then play their own ball for the remainder of the hole.
There will be closest-to-the-pin and pitching contests, with an awards dinner following sponsored by Heineken and Outback Steakhouse. Wachovia Securities is the event sponsor.
Sponsorships for holes, scoreboard and individuals are available, and a silent auction will be held at the awards dinner in the National clubhouse.
For information on sponsorships and entries, call Tournament Chairman Scott Boucher at 783-5907.
Dataw Senior: Lennie Barton, an amateur from Raleigh, won the Dataw Island Senior Open in Beaufort, S.C., last week in a one-hole playoff after he and David Watterworth, an amateur from Charlotte, had tied in regulation with 71.
The tournament was scheduled for 36 holes but was reduced to 18 by the threat of the Tropical Storm Hanna. Barton birdied the first playoff hole.
Kevin Hoban, of Wilmington, was the lead professional, tying with amateurs Bob Stringer, of Blythewood, and John Walters, of Charlotte, for third with 73.
Bill Wade, of Whispering Pines, tied for 23rd with 82. Wiley Barrett, of Southern Pines, shot 84. Chuck Daley, of Whispering Pines, shot 86, and William Hiner, of Pinehurst, shot 88.
Mixed Team: Anthony and Debbie Adams, of Asheville, retained their title as Carolinas Mixed Team champions at Ocean Ridge Plantation's Tiger's Eye Course last week, but it didn't come easily.
The Adams team had to defeat Kevin Atamian and Katie Brenny, of Raleigh, with a birdie in a two-hole sudden-death playoff after they had tied at 132 in 36 holes of regulation play.
The Adams, who have won all three of the Carolinas Golf Association events held, had a two-stroke lead after a
first-round 65 and finished with a 67. Atamian and Brenny opened with 67 and closed with a 65 to earn the tie. Brenny led the charge for her team with seven birdies in the final round.
The format is four-ball stroke play with teams comprised of a male and a female. Teams are flighted following the first round.
Tony and Kristine Berger of Hilton Head, S.C., won flight 2 with 144. Tiffany and Andy Priest, of Pinehurst, were second with 151.
Mitch and Suzy Jolley, of Spartanburg, S.C., shot 149 to win flight 3, with William and Sara Stork, of Columbia, S.C., and Bob Sandler and Rhonda Brooks, of Pinehurst, tying for second with 153.
Richard and Cindy Motter, of Pinehurst, were sixth with 158.
Michael and Robin Harris of Durham, Keith and Ellen Leonard of Raleigh, and Richard and Ellen Miller of Pawleys Island, S.C., tied for first in flight 4 with 165.
Jack Briley and Peggy Clark, of Pinehurst, finished fourth with 166, while Bryan Dyck and Barbara Blackburn, of Pinehurst, tied for fifth with 168. Ken and Gwen Brown, of Pinehurst, were eighth at 172.
HT Seniors: Ralph James proved age is just another number as he shot a 68 to win the championship flight in the Harris Teeter Senior Tour event held at Bermuda Run Country Club.
The 72-year-old James, who lives in Raleigh, needed every stroke as he edged out Ken Eichele, of Pinehurst, by a shot. Eichele began the round with a double bogey, but rebounded with three birdies for his 69.
Terry Collins, of Pinehurst, shot 73.
Yadkinville's Tom Fagerli won flight A with a 74. Raleigh's Matt Allen broke through for his first Tour win in the flight B with a 77, his best effort of the season, with Tom Kubla, of Pinehurst, a shot back with 78.
Denton's W.E. Heasley won flight C with 86.
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