06/05/08 — Champions look to repeat at amateur

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Champions look to repeat at amateur

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on June 5, 2008 1:53 PM

It is good to be king.

Going into opening round play of the 10th installment of the Wayne County Men's Amateur Golf Championship, the defending champion in each division is again the favorite to reign supreme.

For competitors in the Senior Division, the mission will be to stop Bill Brewer. Having taken three of the last four WCMA titles, Brewer will undoubtedly be the man to beat.

With last year's lopsided 10-stroke victory under his belt, Brewer has built a reputation as one of the premier players in Wayne County. Being the only player to stay under par each day during the 2007 event, Brewer fired a final-round 68 to lock up his place at the awards podium.

As tough as Brewer has been in recent years, super senior John Newsome has been even harder to top. Newsome has hoisted a trophy each of the last three years, including 2007's four stroke victory over Charlie Waters.

"I have had a pretty good run," said Newsome. "Every year the competition gets better and better, and at my age you never know what is going to happen when the weekend rolls around."

The only champion to ever three-peat in any division admits that he has been hitting the ball well as of late.

"I have been playing pretty well recently so we'll see what happens," said Newsome. "I played some in Florida during the winter, and quite a bit since I came back here for the summer."

Playing out of Lane Tree, Newsome does not consider having home field advantage for the final round a big deal.

"All of the guys that are going to contend are familiar with each of the courses," said Newsome. "Aside from that, I know you can't win this tournament on Friday or Saturday, but you certainly can lose it."

In the Open Division, Lionel Sutton will be the man with the target on his back.

Last year Sutton held off Jonathan Burke, the youngest player to ever win the WCMA, and Jonathan Greene by carding a 211 total.

The field will be looking to keep their swings in check while dealing with the most challenging course conditions Wayne County has to offer.

"The pins will be in some tough spots," said Southern Wayne Country Club professional Howard Hunt. "We are going to speed the greens up over the next few days, but we aren't going to do anything tricky. The course will be challenging, but fair."

A spring filled with rainy nights and above average temperatures has groomed the local links into lush green tracks that should be conducive to low scores among the amateurs.

"Right now our course is in great shape," said Hunt. "The fairways and greens are excellent, and it's pretty hard to find a bad lie out there."

Walnut Creek Country Club will be the site of Friday's opening round, while Southern Wayne will host the second day. Lane Tree Golf Club will be the location of Sunday's final 18 holes.

Play begins each day at 8 a.m.