Todd Hendley had a couple of pretty good days in a very good year for him on the golf course. The SCGA Senior champion dropped down a weight class to win his second SCGA Mid-Am championship.
The Greer golfer won the state Senior Amateur at Bulls Bay earlier this year. He led that tournament from start to finish just as he did the Mid-Am played at Green Valley Country Club.
Hendley opened the tournament with a 5-under par 67 to take a two shot lead over Greenville’s Lee Palms and three shots in front of Irmo’s Steve Liebler, both former champions.
“I putted great,” said Hendley. “I made six birdies and only 1 bogey. I had 27 putts so I was really putting well,” he said.
Hendley had just put a new putter in play after a disappointing putting round at the USGA Senior Amateur.
“Sometimes it is the putter. I made the change and it worked well for me,” he added.
The second round of the scheduled 54 hole tournament was cancelled because of heavy rain on Friday night and more rain forecast for all day on Saturday. The tournament had to be reduced to just 36 holes.
“We got here very early Saturday and checked the weather and the course,” said SCGA Executive Director Happ Lathrop. “We looked at the conditions and decided it just wasn’t going to be playable so we cancelled the round. Seems like we bring some rain with us where ever we go of late,” he added.
Hendley didn’t take the day off from golf. Instead he went to The Eagle Zone and hit balls under its covered tees.
“I was hitting the ball so good on Friday I didn’t want to let that feeling get away. I wanted to remember the things I was doing well,” he said.
Hendley played in the afternoon wave on Friday. Instead of pairing the leaders for the second and final round the SCGA used second round tee times for play on Sunday. Using that format each golfer would have played a morning and afternoon round in the event.
The first round leader was in one of the first groups off the tee in the final round. Hendley shot a 3-under par 69. He had another outstanding putting round to add to his lead.
“I made two 30 foot putts. One was for a par and the other was the second time I ran in a 30 footer on the 13th hole (during Friday and Sundays round) for a birdie. I had 27 putts each day,” he said.
Hendley posted his 36 hole total of 8-under par and then had to wait for the afternoon wave to complete their play. The rest of the field knew what they needed to shoot to beat Hendley.
“Sometimes it can add to the pressure knowing what you have to shoot. I thought if I shot in the 60s I’d have a good chance. It would be hard to beat that score,” Hendley said.
His two closest competitors were playing in the afternoon wave. Palms would finish his second round with a 1-under par 71. He ended up four shots behind Hendley in second place.
“I didn’t know what Todd shot when I went out. I didn’t look,” said Palms. “I just wanted to play a good round and let the chips fall,” he said.
However, at the turn he did glance at the scoreboard and saw at the time he was seven back of the leader.
“When I saw that I just tried to play a good round. I was able to birdie the last three holes, but Todd played great,” noted Palms who also finished as the runner-up in this year’s South Carolina Amateur championship.
In addition to the wins in the SCGA Senior and Mid-Am Hendley played in the US Senior Amateur and the British Senior Amateur.
“I didn’t play very good at those tournaments, but this has been a very good year for me, I’ve played well,” said the two-time Mid-Am champion.
Brian Quackenbush of Aiken finished in third place with a 142 total.
Liebler, Kyle Milner of Spartanburg, Jeremy Revis and Buddy Davis of Greenville all tied for fourth place in the rain shortened event.
The top-five golfers earn an exemption into next year’s state amateur championship.
Complete scoring details are available at http://www.scgolf.org.
Categories: Upstate Amateur Golf, USGA SCGA CGA WSCGA
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