Bill Davis tourney ends with co-champs
UNEVEN GROUND Saturday's leader, Scott Morgan, chips from uneven ground at the sixth hole during the second day of the Bill Davis Memorial Fourth of July Invitational at Northwood Country Club. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
July 2, 2001
After seven hours, 27 holes, and all of the daylight exhausted, the 2001 edition of the Bill Davis Memorial/Fourth of July Invitational at Northwood Country Club ended in a two-way tie Sunday.
The teams of Kelly Swain-Scott Morgan and Joey Mabry-Colton Tisdale finished the 54 holes of regulation knotted at 199, 14 strokes under par.
Swain and Morgan entered the final round with a one-stroke lead, but Mabry and Tisdale birdied Nos. 6, 7, and 9 to grab a one stroke lead at the turn. After six straight pars to open the back nine, both teams birdied No. 16.
Swain and Morgan birdied No. 17 to pull even and both teams parred No. 18 to end regulation play dead even.
Then the fireworks began as they swapped stroke for stroke over nine holes of sudden death in a 2 1/2 hour battle that ended only because of darkness.
Both teams birdied the first hole of sudden death. Mabry and Tisdale had the advantage on the second hole only to have Swain run in a 10-foot putt for par to keep the match alive.
After both parred No. 3, Mabry and Tisdale had the advantage again with relatively short uphill putts on Nos. 4 and 5 but Mabry was unable to convert.
Both groups parred out over the final four holes. Swain had a six-footer for the win on No. 8, but was unable to get it to drop.
At No. 9, the four putted in near darkness with the gallery intently looking on. Swain's two-footer for par at No. 9 at 8:30 p.m. left the tournament with co-champions.
"I think that's a good way to end it," Morgan said. "The last two holes, it got to be where it was as dark as it was. Especially on those last putts. You didn't want to see somebody miss a two-footer because they couldn't see."
For much of the day, it appeared Swain and Morgan might not have anything to show for the weekend after leading both of the first two days.
"Kelly and I struggled today until the last three holes. We had two birdies coming in before the playoff," Morgan said.
"They had opportunities and we had opportunities. You never know in match play. It's not over until it's over. We thought two times it was over (for us), but you've got to keep grinding. That's what makes golf so exciting."
With the growing gallery following the two over the playoff holes, it brought back some good memories for Morgan.
"I think everybody that followed it enjoyed it. That reminds me of the old Fourth of July. It used to be 200 people out here following back in the old days. The Fourth has always been one of the premier tournaments around."
And his thoughts were of Bill Davis, the club professional at Northwood during his early years.
"When we were kids, "Old Pro" was here and he taught us all how to play golf, so I think it's wonderful for this tournament to be named after him," Morgan said. "It's been a fun week."
Third place went to the team of Tim Fitzgerald and Justin Elliot after their four-under par 67 Sunday afternoon. They had birdies at Nos. 8 and 11 to go with an eagle by Elliot on No. 12.
In fourth place was the team of Judge Little and Tommy Little. They fired a five-under 66 in the final round, making birdies on Nos. 3, 6, 9, 14, and 15 while staying bogey-free.
Dan Angero and Jimmy Carle came in fifth with a three-day total of 204. They shot 70 in the final round with birdies on Nos. 3, 7, and 15 to go with bogeys on Nos. 11, and 16.
In sixth place at 206 was the team of Earl Aycock Jr. and Steve Stewart. They had a final round 70 with birdies at Nos. 11 and 17, both par-3s, to go with a bogey on No. 18.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.