Sizzling 61 lifts Womble to HPGA title at Blair Park
By STEVE WILLIAMS
Davis Womble has been one of the state’s top junior golfers for several years. He claimed a championship in one of the majors on the junior circuit last December, winning the Donald Ross Junior at Pinehurst No. 2.
He’s also making quite a name for himself in his hometown of High Point. He got a full chorus of “wows” when he fired a closing 61 at Blair Park and won the High Point Golf Association Memorial Tournament on May 30.
It took that 11-under-par score for the rising junior at Wesleyan Christian Academy to claim the title. He opened with a 69 and trailed Anthony Baker by five shots. Baker, who owns the course record at Blair Park with a 60, didn’t exactly back up on day two, shooting 67, but he still ended a shot off of Womble’s 130 tally.
Womble’s round began with three straight birdies and he notched a fourth at No. 6.
But he found trouble on the par-5 seventh and bogeyed a hole that usually offers a great birdie opportunity.
He used the mishap as a round revival.
“I hooked my second shot into the hazard on the left. After that I was pretty furious,” Womble said. “On hole 8 I hit it to about six inches and made a birdie. After that is when I found my swing, started hitting my wedges close, the putter heated up. I just started making everything. The bogey was probably the turning point.”
He followed with six straight birdies to go to 9-under and he added short birdie putts at Nos. 16 and 18 to complete his best-ever competitive round, eclipsing a 64 in the 2009 HPGA Memorial.
Baker had a chance to tie with an eagle on the par-5 18th and he reached the green in two to give himself an opportunity. But his 30-foot bid stopped short.
Jacob Eggers, thanks to a final-round 64, placed third.
J.M. BRYAN AMATEUR
BROWN SUMMIT • June 4-6 – A scrambling par was the key for Kevin McCallister as he survived challenges from a strong field and windy playing conditions to win the J.M. Bryan Amateur.
McCallister held the lead going into the par-4 17th when he pushed his tee shot and had to hit his next shot under some limbs. It ended 20 yards at the back of the green but he got up-and-down with an excellent pitch and 4-foot putt.
He ended with a 74 and finished a shot ahead of Brock Elder, who was already in the clubhouse, and playing partner Scott Harvey.
McCallister opened with 71 on the Players Course and followed with a 68 on the Champions Course. Harvey shot 67-72-75 while Elder posted 71-72-71.
The top 10 players were separated by only four shots.
Walnut Cove Rotary
WALNUT COVE • June 12-13 – Arlis Pike fired a 2-under-par 33 on the back nine and claimed a come-from-behind victory in the Walnut Cove Rotary Hemlock Amateur at Hemlock Golf Club.
Pike, who opened with a 70 and trailed both Bradley James and Derek Ward by three shots, fired a 66 on day two while James shot 71 and Ward 73.
He was still trailing after nine holes Sunday but birdied Nos. 11, 13 and 18 to emerge with a two-shot margin.
Alamance County Amateur
BURLINGTON • June 4-6 – John Somers parred the first hole of a sudden death playoff and turned back Tony Byerly to win the Alamance County Amateur at Indian Valley Golf Course.
Somers, a former standout at Bartlett Yancey High who now plays for Elon, shot a 72 in the final round to make up two shots on Byerly, who shared the lead after 36 holes. They both ended at 209, two shots better than Matt Page (65-71-75), Jimmy Halachef (68-71-72) and Jason Crowe (68-71-72).
Somers, who opened with 67-70, then negotiated the par-4 first hole in four shots. Byerly, who opened with 66-69, needed a slick four-footer for par on the playoff hole. When he missed the target and his ball rolled down the slope Somers only had to convert a short putt for the win. It was his first-ever tournament title other than junior events.
Byerly was a former two-time champion of the tourney, having won in 1999 and 2007.
Asheboro City Amateur
ASHEBORO • June 4-6 – Lee Parks won the 49th annual Asheboro Men’s City-Amateur Championship, taking his first title in an event his father won five times.
Parks closed with a 71 at Pinewood Country Club to tally an even-par 213 for the 54-hole event. He opened with a 69 at Asheboro Country Club and a 73 at Asheboro Municipal.
He finished a shot ahead of Andrew Shiflet, who shot 74 at ACC, 68 at Municipal and 72 at Pinewood.
Third place finisher Derrick Caudill was 10 shots off the pace, leaving Parks and Shiflet to settle the championship. Parks got an early cushion – thanks in part to his eagle on the par-5 third hole and a triple bogey Shiflet suffered on the par-4 seventh.
Shiflet rallied late and had a chance with one hole to play after rolling in a birdie at the par-5 16th and chipping in for another at the 17th. Two shots back, he needed an eagle on the par-5 18th and he reached the green in two. But his bid slid by and he settled for birdie, allowing Parks to tap in for par and a one-shot win.
MARTINSVILLE • June 5-6 – Adam Webb birdied three of the final four holes to rally past Jack Adkins and win the Lynwood Invitational.
Webb, a recent Longwood graduate who plans to turn pro this fall, shot 64-67 while Adkins, a Carlisle School grad who will play this fall at Elon, shot 63-69.
Third-place finisher Terry Mills (68-71) was eight shots off the pace, leaving Webb and Adkins to battle for the title.
It was a back-and-forth match all the way. Webb was 3-under-par on the front to take a two-shot lead but Adkins regained the lead after Webb bogeyed the 13th.
After both players birdied the 15th, Adkins was still up by one but Webb followed with another birdie on the 16th and then went up by one when he rolled in a 25-footer on the par-3 17th.
Adkins had a chance to get even at the 18th but his 20-foot birdie try didn’t fall and Webb two-putted for the win.
RINGGOLD, Va. • June 5-6 — After rolling in nine birdies and firing a 66 in the first round, 20-year-old Ridge Gibson was forced into survival mode on day two of the Pepsi Invitational at Ringgold Golf Club.
A late afternoon downpour coupled with windy conditions and a move to the back tees made playing conditions much tougher in round two. Gibson shot 75 and claimed a one-shot win over Mike Bayes for his first-ever amateur individual title.
Bayes, playing out of the lower championship flight, was already in the clubhouse with 142 (74-68), waiting for Gibson to finish.
It came down to the par-5 final hole and Gibson responded with a birdie, hitting a 125-yard wedge shot to the back pin and setting up a seven-foot birdie putt.
GRAHAM • May 22-23 – Tony Byerly made himself at home with rounds of 66 and 68 and claimed the championship of the 23rd annual Southwick Amateur.
Byerly, the course’s general manager, finished two shots ahead of Adam Taylor, who shot 69-67, and three better than Hogan Nance, who posted 68-69.
Byerly had five birdies and a bogey while taking the first-round lead. He was even par through 12 holes on day two but moved into the lead with back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13. He then parred in to take the Southwick title for the second time.
Beaver Hills Open
MARTINSVILLE • May 29-30 – Keith Decker fired an opening round 66 and came back with a 64 to roll to an 11-shot win in the Beaver Hills Men’s Open Tournament.
Jack Adkins was second with 68-73.