Garland Ferrell and Matt Hayes gained momentum with a first round hole-in-one and followed it up with eight birdies in the final round to win the Chanticleer National Four-Ball Invitational.
The tournament was hosted by the Greenville Country Club and played on their Chanticleer course.
The golfers experienced some difficult playing conditions at the start of the second day. After months without any rain, Chanticleer was hit with heavy rain just as the golfers were scheduled to start their final round.
The winning team shot a first round score of 4-under par 68 which included the ace by Ferrell on the 14th hole. He used a 6-iron to score a 1 on the 186 yard hole.
“We didn’t play very well on the front nine so when Garland made the hole-in-one we got things going,” said Matt Hayes. “We finished the last six holes at 6-under par,” he added.
The 4-under par 68 for the opening round put Ferrell and Hayes two shots behind the leaders. John David Kennedy and Stan Glenn from South Georgia shot a first round 66 to lead the team of Walter and Walt Todd by a shot.
Ferrell and Hayes started the second round with a bogey before reeling off their eight birdies.
“We hit it really good both days and kept it in play,” said Ferrell. “We probably had two looks at birdies on just about every hole,” he added.
The on-course leaders built their lead to two shots before a bogey on the par-5 17th hole cut it back to one and put the lead within reach of Kennedy and Glenn.
With birdies on the two back nine par-5s Kennedy and Glenn tied Ferrell and Hayes with one hole to play at 10-under par.
On the final hole the two Georgia golfers had the opportunity to break the tie or send the tournament to a playoff.
Gann’s tee shot found the hazard leaving Kennedy to play his ball through the hole.
His second shot flew the green and landed in a bunker behind the 18th hole. The ball plugged making a difficult shot almost impossible to get close to the pin.
Kennedy got out of the bunker, but his ball rolled past the hole and into a hazard marked off next to the green. Amazingly, the ball came to rest on the rock retaining wall and did not go into the pond.
Kennedy was left with an impossible shot. The ball was on the retaining wall and next to the edge of the fringe. He barely could get a stance to make a swing.
There was no miracle shot as Kennedy could not lift the ball over the thick fringe, The ball rebounded off the thick grass and went into the water. It ended any chance for the two to tie the clubhouse leaders.
“I may have gotten a little greedy from the fairway, but I wanted to win,” said Kennedy. “I really didn’t have a shot when it was on the wall. I just hit it,” he said.
The difficulty on the final hole not only took Kennedy and Gann out of a tie for the lead, but dropped them into third place for the tournament. The team of the Greenville Country Club club champion Thomas Todd and Jordan Sease finished in second place.
“We played well. but we needed to make a couple more putts,” said Todd. “We got close, but we missed too many coming in,” he said.
Ferrell and Hayes got to 11-under par before they made a bogey on the par-5 17th hole.
“We knew when we bogeyed 17 that it could have been a problem. We thought we would need a birdie on 18 to win, but our par on the hole wasn’t too bad either,” said Ferrell.
The winning team improved one spot from last year when they were the runner-up in the event. Ferrell and Hayes played college golf together at Furman and were excited to get the win.
“We enjoyed playing together and this is a really outstanding event. We had a big field with a lot of really fine golfers to compete against,” said the winner.
Walt and Walter Todd, Mike Hartin and Matthew Hopper, Marcus Gumblers and Todd Hendley all finished in fourth place.
This is the third year of the tournament and it continues to grow according to Chanticleer head golf professional Eric Pederson. “We had a big field and the quality of golfers gets better every year,” he said. “The golfers love coming here to play Chanticleer and the tournament has gotten better each year,” said the pro.
Complete scoring available at http://tpp.ghin.com/Club/Scoring/ResultsStroke.aspx?id=163366
Categories: Upstate Amateur Golf