2013 CCJ Hickory Golf Association Club Championship
Until his passing in 1859, Alan Robertson of St. Andrews Golf Links was considered the finest player in all of golf. It is generally accepted the he never lost a match for money in his storied career. The next year, at the urging of Robertson’s former assistant, Tom Morris, Sr., the members of the 12 hole Prestwick Golf Club decided to hold an “Open” championship to determine who would replace Robertson as “champion golfer.” This was the beginning of tournament golf as we now know it. With this precedent, the CCJ-HGA held its first annual Hickory Club Championship over 12 holes at the Country Club of Jackson on Friday, October 4, 2013 in hopes that this competition will be continued to be held for the next 150 years, as well.
Blessed with clear weather in spite of the close passing of Tropical Storm Karen, 22 hickory enthusiasts took to the links in four flights. Flight competition was to be determined with handicap play, while the overall “champion golfer” title would go to the low gross score. Once again, the local boys proved they can wield some wicked golf with their wooden instruments.
In the Bobby Jones Flight Cameron Dikett nipped Bobby Jernigan in a scorecard play-off, as he birdied the par 5 11th in route to a net score of even par. It should be noted that “Camo” is less than a year removed from nearly severing his left arm in a boating accident and the members of the HGA (except perhaps Bobby) were thrilled to have him back on the links.
Veteran hickory competitor Pat Scanlon easily garnered top honors in the Francis Quimet Flight as he also netted out at even par or a four stroke win. Tournament Handicap Committee has duly noted the lopsided margin for future reference.
Ted Lloyd proved that he can be just as proficient with hickory as he is with steel, capturing the Jerome Travers Flight by one over Charlie Molpus at plus one.
The Walter Travis Flight consisted of the lowest handicap golfers in the group and the competition was indeed fierce among these great players. When the dust settled Stephen Kruger and Chase Bryan led all golfers with gross even par rounds. “Friday Night Lights” prevented one of the fellows from staying for an on course playoff, so the committee decided to declare Chase and Stephen Co-winners of the flight and the Championship. Congratulations to both on fabulous play.
Newcomer Jerry Abdalla rolled in a 28 foot putt on #6 to capture the “longest putt” side bet and Dr. Chad Gnam banged his driver out in the 255 yard range in winning “longest drive” on #9. In the “closest to the hole” contest held after competition on the 125 yard par 3 13th, Keith Cleveland’s ball is said to have “ticked” the flagstick before it settled at 2 feet, three inches from the hole.
This tournament concludes the 2013 Hickory schedule for CCJ-HGA after a highly successful year that saw 86 members compete in three scheduled events. Here’s hoping Santa will bring even more of the fellows some “hickories” for Christmas so they may join in the fun in 2014.