When the final round of the SCGA Senior Four-Ball began at The Country Club of Spartanburg the team of Joe Hendrick and Daran Womack were on the bottom of the championship flight.
The two golfers had 20 teams to climb over if they were to win the senior championship.
Hendrick and Womack did just that.
In their final round the team shot a 10 under par 63. They didn’t bogey a hole and closed out their second round with birdies on six of their last seven holes.
And then they had to wait.
19 other teams had to play their final round including the defending champions, Stan Sill from Spartanburg and Jeff Stephens from Ware Shoals.
The first round leaders had posted an 8-under par 64 for a 1-shot lead over three teams at 7-under par 65.
They were 4-shots in front of Hendrick and Womack.
For a little over three hours the clubhouse leaders enjoyed the hospitality of the club and watched the big screen leader board as Sill and Stephens were making birdies.
The defending champions birdied the 17th hole to tie Hendrick and Womack at 14-under par.
“We have been sitting around here and waiting for three hours and we are going to get beat by one,” mused Womack as he watched the final group play 18.
Sill and Stephens were in position to win the tournament with a birdie. Sill had the best chance of the two, but his putt rolled away from the hole setting up a playoff for the championship.
The two teams played 18 again. Womack and Hendrick had to loosen up to hit their first shots in over three hours while Sill and Stephens just played on.
Hendrick and Womack each hit good tee shots. Stephens and Sill’s drives were not as good leaving them with more difficult second shots to the green.
Hendrick used a gap wedge from 87 yards out to land his second shot 12 feet behind the pin and then watched it roll down a slight ridge to end up 2 feet from the hole.
“I felt pretty good about the hole,” said Hendrick. “I birdied it from a bunker during the round,” he said.
Sill and Stephens needed to make almost unmake-able birdie putts to hold off the inevitable. Both golfers scared the flag stick with their putts, but both birdie attempts rolled past the hole.
Hendrick tapped in his short putt for the win making the 3 plus hour wait worth while.
“The first thing our friends are going to say when they see we won will be, ‘are those old guys still playing,” he joked.
Hendrick from Aiken and Womack from Chesterfield have been playing in these kind of tournaments together for over 30 years.
The two teamed up to win the 1999 Carolina Four-Ball and also won a couple of Players’ Four Ball championships.
“We had a pretty clean round today, but we still were worried somebody could catch us. We both are pretty happy we got the win,” said Hendrick.
After Sill and Stephens three teams tied for third place.
Greenville golfers Johnny Dennis and Frank Wrenn tied with Laurens’ Walter Todd and Blythewood’s Eddie Hargett along with Mark Pike and Steve Teaster from Spartanburg who all finished 2-shots out of the playoff.
62-two man teams competed in the championship.
Complete scoring is available from the SCGA website. https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/2793174