By Jed Blackwell, Associate Editor-Publisher
Donnie Fredricks wasn’t one of the winners in Sunday’s Jimmie Evatt Memorial Fall TexasTwo-Man tournament at Saluda Valley, but he’d have been the favorite in a card game.
Fredricks made his competitors beat a pair of aces.
After starting on the back nine, Fredericks made his way to No. 2, a 171-Par 3, where he promptly recorded an ace with an 8-iron.
Fredricks’ group played the Par-5 third, then he stepped to the tee at the Par-3, 169-yard fourth.
He dunked another 8-iron.
Two 8s, two aces. Wild Bill couldn’t have drawn it up any better.
“I’ve never heard of anything like it,” Saluda Valley pro Jeff Evatt said. “Somebody said it’s something like a one in 65 million chance. I thought they were joking.”
Fredricks’ accomplishment was no joke, and neither was the level of competition in the tournament.
Back among golfers who weren’t defying odds, Thomas and Tim Nielsen combined to shoot a final round 57 and a two-day total of 122, winning the event by five strokes over Will Hannah and Brandon Alexander.
Mike Teasley and Lewis Wiles tied for third with Whitt Jefferson and Austin Langdale.
“We played really well,” Thomas said. “I hit some drives, and Tim made a lot of good putts.”
The brothers got off to a great start on Sunday, making Eagle on their first hole.
“That kind of got us pumped up,” Tim said. “We used my drive, Thomas hit a second shot to about 25 feet, we made the putt, and that got us on our way.”
The Nielsens won the tournament in their first appearance, and said they enjoyed the event and hope to play more in the future.
“It was great getting a chance to get out here and play with Tim,” Thomas said. “We had amazing weather, the course is in great shape, and the greens were rolling really well. Jeff does a good job running this tournament, and it was a great time.”
For Evatt, the tournament that serves as a memorial to his late father is a labor of love.
“He died in 2005, and we started the tournament in 2007, so this is our 16th year,” he said.
“Every year, we’ve been fortunate to have a full field and a waiting list. There’s just tremendous support for this, and I’m blessed that players want to come out and play in honor of my father.”
Evatt said he allows Saluda Valley members a few days to register first before opening the tournament to the public.
“It usually fills up in five or six days once it’s public,” he said. “Sixty-two teams, 124 golfers. A lot of people plan around it and come back year after year. It means a lot to me. People support it because of my dad, and they enjoy it and look forward to playing in it. It’s really gratifying to see the level of support.”
Categories: Upstate Amateur Golf