05/05/09 — Local golfers take part in Handy Mart tourney

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Local golfers take part in Handy Mart tourney

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 5, 2009 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Sun-soaked fairways lured players to Southern Wayne Country Club this weekend, but treacherous pin placements greeted them during the 23rd annual Handy Mart-Mount Olive College Invitational golf tournament.

The tandem of Jay Joyner-Chris Eaves claimed the tournament crown with a two-day, superball total of 119. Each player received a crystal trophy for his effort, but the real winner was Mount Olive College.

The yearly event raised approximately $110,000 for the school's scholarship fund despite some tough economic times that drew concerns about the number of entrants and sponsors for the Invitational.

"We really did very well considering the way the economy is right now," said Judson Pope, Handy Mart president. "Our sponsors dug a little deeper than usual and we were able to have a very strong field. Overall, we were down between five and 10 percent, but we still will be able to make a nice contribution."

Since its inception 22 years ago, the Invitational has raised nearly two million dollars and provided scholarships to 499 deserving students.

"Nearly 40 percent of Mount Olive students are first-generation college students, and this money makes it possible for them to afford school," said Pope. "When my dad (Buddy Pope) and I came up with the idea for a golf tournament, the scholarship fund seamed like the best way to help the college."

Pope thanked the dozens of volunteers who assisted with this year's event.

"We have to thank all the folks that make this weekend possible like the forty Handy Mart employees that came to help out, and the volunteers who gave their time," he said. "Howard Hunt and his staff here at the (SWCC) pro shop did a great job getting the course ready."

This year's field consisted of 184 golfers who were split into seven flights after opening-round play. In the superball format, each player hits his respective shot. Then the partners can choose which shot they want to use for their next play.

Joyner-Eaves edged runners-up Jason Marlow-Don Hill by two strokes. Marlow-Hill won a card playoff over Pope-Tony Herring after both tandems finished 36 holes with an identical 121.

Card playoffs also determined winners in first, second, fifth and sixth flight action.

Bradley Jones-Ted Grantham defeated Perry Baltzinger-Craig Lane after they finished tied at 125 in first flight competition. In second flight play, Mike Hatch-Dane Jones bested Kevin Wagner-Shane Sarchett after both groups shot 127.

William Jackson-Jamie Grimes claimed third flight outright, while Chad Medlin-Dwayne Bailey seized fourth flight honors. Scott McIntosh-Scott Hair nipped Brian Vick-Bennie Bailey to claim the fifth flight after both twosomes concluded play deadlocked at 137.

Bobby Holland-Jim St. Amand emerged the sixth flight champions after ended up in three-way tie. Scott Lewis-Duane Lewis and Paul Powell-Matt Buchanon shared the spot before a card playoff determined the teams' final placement.

Mike Brock-Neil Price claimed the seventh flight.