The best Southern 4-Ball yet!
It was the universal assessment from the players, from the course management and from tournament host Tad Moore who had his hands full with a very full field of 72 players. “This was the culmination of many years of work to bring a full field to the event,” he said.
The Southern 4-Ball Hickory Championship is the “unofficial” kickoff of the hickory golf season and is the first leg of the SoHG’s Championship Series sponsored by Mountain Valley Spring Water. It was played at the lovely Highland Park Golf Course in Birmingham, Ala. April 19-21.
Tad was busy on Thursday helping players to check in and go over the course set up with Highland Park pro Tony Gancarczyk and Evan Godfrey, director of golf. While he was thus occupied, his better – by far – half, Carol, was busy with party preparations that were every bit as important. Tad said the trade show that followed Thursday’s practice rounds was well attended with more people asking for a display table than he knew about in advance. “It all worked out,” he said, noting that he saw lots of clubs changing hands.
Friday brought great weather, to the common relief of last year’s players who remember the deadly tornado that swept through the region on the eve of the tournament. It was a 1 p.m. shotgun start and the tournament was off in full swing. Afterward, players gathered around an outdoor bar and picnic setup on a patio overlooking the course, a set-up orchestrated by Carol Moore, the ever-gracious hostess. It was a brilliant idea, says Tad, as everyone enjoyed being outside, watching the players come in and the scores being posted. “Heck,” he said,” there were still people out there when I left much later in the evening.”
A lot of good golf was played on Friday, Tad said, shaping up for quite a shootout on Saturday. Although the weather guys were predicting iffy conditions, apparently they were just trying to mess with Tad, as the day developed with such lovely spring zephyrs that many were noticed humming “Sweet Home Alabama.” In fact, the course dried out and began to play fast and tough. Not tough enough to take out eventual winners Roger Andrews and Joe Hollerbach whose 136 total won the Frank Boumphrey Cup, besting the second-place team of Wayne Gillis and Steve Hudson by three strokes. Brian Schuman and Rick Woeckener tied Gillis and Hudson, but a scorecard playoff settled them in third place.
SoHG president Chris Deinlein and partner and SoHG board member Hamp Munsey took Net honors with a 118, two strokes over Max Hollon and Chris Hollon in second. Stan Herman and Tony Smarelli came in third with 122.
Those who finished first got to the patio first and were well into drinks, dogs, burgers and grilled chicken breast as the rest of the field came in; a true southern feast. Trophies and medals were passed out to much joking and laughter. (Were scores double-checked?) Despite the chore of managing the event and the large field, it was clear that Tad and Carol enjoyed themselves and, as always, were the perfect hosts for such a great event.
A few thanks from Tad:
“I have many to thank. First my wife, Carol, as this event would not have been a success without her total support in the early days and then, as the event grew, she took care to see that the hospitality was just right. The Society of Hickory Golfers is the rock of my support group. Keith Cleveland for his determination and suggesting the Highland Park course and helping me with the details. Breck Speed and Mountain Valley Spring Water for his fantastic support over the years to the Society and to me, personally. Our new sponsor, Belfor. Evan Godfrey with Highland Park. Jennifer Fridley at the Tutweiler. I also want to thank the ‘Alabama Gang’ of Don Ghareeb and Cecil Ingram who enriched the event with hickory players from the Birmingham area.”
Next year, promised Tad; the same week. Mark the calendars for April 18-20.
Finally, an additional warm thanks and nod to Belfor Property Restoration, which stepped up to add its most welcome sponsorship to the Southern 4-Ball Hickory Championship. Our hats are off to this fine company and its
The attached photo gallery is from Caroline Rosen of Mountain Valley Spring Water. Photos of the winners and the trophy were taken by Ben Benoit of Hero Classic Golf in Nashvile, Tenn. They are copyrighted to Hero Classic Golf 2012.
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