05/17/07 — Spots still available for WCMA

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Spots still available for WCMA

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 17, 2007 2:30 PM

Does an extra dose of adrenaline pulse through your veins when you hit a solid approach from the fairway and get the ball to bite on lush, rolling greens?

Then Neil Bartlett is looking for you.

Organizer of the Wayne County Men's Amateur golf tournament, Bartlett announced Wednesday morning that spots remain available for the 156-player event scheduled the first weekend of June.

"Right now we have 130 entrants and I think we'll fill it up, but I don't want to wait until the last minute," said Bartlett.

The three-day, 54-hole stroke-play event begins June 1 at Southern Wayne Country Club. Competitors tackle Lane Tree Golf Course the second day, and conclude tournament play Sunday at Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course.

"All three courses right now are in excellent shape," said Bartlett. "The players are flighted after the second round of play, so on Sunday you're competing against players within your ability level.

"It's the most fun you're going to have on the golf course."

Bartlett said all three defending champions will return.

Jonathan Burke, a rising junior at Barton College, is attempting to become the first three-time Open champion since the WCMA's inception in 1999. Burke held a commanding lead after two rounds a year ago, but struggled on the final day at Walnut Creek.

Brandon Campbell, the 2006 runner-up, is expected to contend this year. Also in the mix will be Mount Olive College sophomore Jonathan Greene and former Charles B. Aycock standout Ryan Walderman.

John Zambelli emerged the Senior Division champion after a one-hole, sudden-death playoff over Bill Brewer in 2006. Brewer is seeking his third title overall.

Robert Brown finished fourth a year ago and should challenge the aforementioned duo along with Howard Tyndall and Sam Strawn.

John Newsome goes for the "three-peat" in Super Senior Division play. Mickey Nance shot a tournament-low 72 at Walnut Creek and just missed forcing a sudden-death playoff against Newsome a year ago.

Joe McLamb and Richard Costner are favored to finish among the top five.

"It's a different experience for golfers and the only opportunity they'll have (all year)," said Bartlett.

The WCMA is open only to legal residents of Wayne County who are 18 years and older, and are members of a golf club within the county. The entry fee is $100 and forms can be obtained at local golf courses, or by visiting the tournament website at www.wcmagolf.com.

Bartlett said the registration fee includes practice rounds, but the golfers must pay cart fees.

Andy's Cheesesteaks and Cheeseburger is once again the Title Sponsor of the tournament. Evans and Associates Insurance is a new Corporate Sponsor this season, while Webpickle.com is an Associate Sponsor.

"We're glad to have their support," said Bartlett.