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Jones-Rose claim Handy Mart championship

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 7, 2012 1:50 PM


News-Argus Sports Editor

MOUNT OLIVE -- Bradley Jones and Clark Rose set each other up for manageable putts during the 2012 Handy Mart/Mount Olive College Invitational.

And they didn't miss many. The duo shot a blistering 16-under on Sunday and fashioned a two-day total of 27-under 115 to win the Invitational contested at Southern Wayne Country Club. Jones-Rose nipped Jeremy Joyner-Dane Jones by one stroke and Judson Pope-Tony Herring by four shots.

"We blistered it today," a smiling Rose said. "We played pretty solid. The first day we missed a few putts, but we made all those putts today ... a bunch of medium-length putts. Bradley, he knocked them all in.

"I made a few, but I was his backup partner ... basically."

Jones-Rose entered the day three strokes behind first-day co-leaders Pope-Herring and Richard Kimble-Chuck Kimble, who each carded a 14-under par 57. Joyner-Jones shared third place with Big Shot Bradley-Jack Radley, who finished fifth overall after shooting 9-under 62 in the final round.

"The course set up perfect," Rose said. "We just kind of brother-in-lawed it, helped each other out. The greens were an OK speed, a little slow uphill, but what greens aren't? They were actually in good shape."

Jones and Rose each received a crystal cup and $250 gift certificate for what is certain a record-setting effort on the wide-open, picturesque course. Jones also won closest-to-the-pin prizes on Nos. 8 and 16.

The combo of Sprunt Hill-Johnny Milkovits emerged the top finishers in first flight play with a 128. Jim Alford and playing partner Dennis Perry claimed second-flight honors with a 131. Ted Funderburk and Eddie Keith triumphed in third flight competition after winning a scorecard playoff over David Bunch-Bruce Bunch.

Andy Strickland-Frankie Watson won fourth flight with a 138, while fifth flight winners were Andy Lewis-Wayne Howell with a 145.

Phil Brantly, Kent Sutton and Jim Saint-Amand won closest-to-the-pin prizes.

Howard Hunt, golf pro at SWCC, said 72 teams battled in six flights during the 36-hole affair, which is co-sponsored by Handy Mart and MOC. Donations from more than 100 sponsors and patrons combined help fuel the school's scholarship fund, which provides academic assistance to numerous students who attend the tiny college tucked away in southern Wayne County.

"I think it's a fantastic statement about Handy Mart and the people who support this tournament," MOC President Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter, Ph.D. said. "Our tag line at Mount Olive College is 'Transforming education. Transforming lives.' One of the ways we do that is by making sure Mount Olive College is affordable to the students from this region.

"The students who receive the Handy Mart scholarships have been able to pursue their dreams because of the support and generosity of the Handy Mart corporation, and all of the people who support this tournament. It's a fantastic opportunity."

More than $1 million has been raised for the scholarship fund since the tournament's inception. Kerstetter said 95 percent of the student population hails from the Old North State.

The Handy Mart-MOC Invitational officially kicks off the tournament season at SWCC. The club also plays host to the Jaycee Pickle Classic, 'Tinker' Best Golf Classic, Mike Martin Memorial Scholarship Tournament and the Andy's Foundation Golf Classic.

The opening round of the three-day, 54-hole Wayne County Men's Amateur will be played at SWCC in July.