It took a playoff birdie for the team of Dixon Walker and Zachary Herold to take the SCGA Mid-Am Four-Ball title back to the Country Club of Lexington.
The championship was played in Spartanburg at the Carolina Country Club.
The two Columbia area golfers caught the club house leaders, Greenville’s Garland Ferrell and Lexington’s Michael Sims with a birdie on the 18th hole to force the playoff.
But for a few inches on the green the playoff could well have included five other teams.
During the final round of the championship, at times as many as six teams either were tied or within a shot of the lead.
And if you were watching the online scoring in either round you would have marveled at the birdie runs the teams were making, putting par on an always challenging Carolina Country Club course to shame.
SCGA Hall of Fame golfer Kevin King from Hilton Head and partner Todd White from Spartanburg had one of those runs in the first round.
“We did get on a roll,” said White after he and King posted an 11-under par 61 to take a 1-shot lead.
The two finished off their first round making birdies on seven of the nine holes on the back to card a 29.
Just a shot behind was Ferrell and Sims as well as Herold and Walker.
While the top three teams got off to a slow start the team of Walt Todd, Jr. from Greenville and Bradley Kaufman from Greer did not.
Starting at 8-under par the two shaved four strokes on the front and four more on the back and came to 18 in the lead at 16-under par.
The two could not convert a birdie opportunity on the final hole and were the clubhouse leader, but did not expect their lead to last.
Ferrell and Sims were on the 18th green at 17-under par, but like Todd and Kaufman they were unable to go to 18-under par.
Herold and Walker, playing in the final group had tied Ferrell and Sims with a birdie on the 16th hole.
“I had about a 30 footer and I was able to run it in,” said Herold.
His putt brought his team to 16-under par. A par on the 17th hole set up a chance to win or tie on the final hole.
Herold hit two good shots to just make the putting surface about 25 feet from the pin.
“An eagle 3 would have won it, but I had to be a little tentative, because it could get away,” said Herold.
His eagle attempt came up about two feet from the cup. He settled for a birdie and a tie and a playoff.
`While the idea of a four ball match is to have four golfers trying for the best score, in the playoff it turned out to be Herold against Sims.
Ferrell had trouble with his tee shot and hit his second shot in the water.
Walker pulled his tee shot well out of the fairway and then dunked his second shot in front of the green on the par 5 18th hole.
Sims hit a near perfect drive and followed it up with a good second shot that ended up in a green side bunker, but in a very playable position.
Herold’s drive was on the side hill just off the fairway.
“The ball was about 2 feet below my feet. I saw Sims had gone in the bunker and I thought if I did that we could still get up and down and force another hole,” said Herold.
Instead, Herold launched his shot over the green.
Sims got a hard bounce on the green out of the bunker and rolled off the putting surface setting up a difficult chip.
Ferrell and Walker were effectively out of the hole.
Herold laying two, hit his recovery shot to about 12 feet below hole on the edge of the green.
Sims fourth shot got his ball on the green, but Herold used a pitching wedge to hit a bump and run shot that rolled in the hole for a birdie and the win.
“I had pretty much a free run at it,” said the winner of a second SCGA team title in 2022.
In March, Herold had teamed up with Sam Jackson from West Columbia to win the SCGA Partners Championship.
In the last two Mid-Am Four-ball tournaments Herold and Walker now have a tie for 3rd and a win.
“We got lucky to team up last year and had a good run to tie for third,” said Walker,”We wanted to see if we could do better this year,” he added and they did.
In a third place tie was the team of Todd and Kaufman tied with a pair of former Greenville County champions after
former champ Jeremy Revis birdied the final hole to boost he and Chris Eassy into the tie.
During the two-day championship there were a pair of holes-in-one made at Carolina.
Greer’s Mike Gravley aced the par 3 third hole from 171 yards using a 7-iron. It was Gravley’s 8th Hole-In-One.
Steven Callicut from Spartanburg made a Hole-In-One on the 15th hole from 207 yards.
Scores fro the SCGA Mid-Am Four-Ball https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/3369662