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Last hole decides Member Tournament, again

Last hole decides Member Tournament, again
Last hole decides Member Tournament, again
Kevin Nash of Corydon won his 11th New Salisbury Membership Tournament title in 17 years on Sunday. (File photo by Alan Stewart)

A couple of dozen folks gathered around the ninth green Sunday wanting to take in the afternoon’s final hole of the 50-player, New Salisbury Membership Tournament.
Little did they know that they were about to witness a finish that seemed all too reminiscent of Jean Van de Velde’s meltdown at the ’99 British Open.
Kevin Nash entered the last hole with a three-shot lead over defending champion Alan Reed, who had started the sweltering day with a three-stroke advantage of his own, only to see it wiped away by two front-side double-bogeys.
Nash elected to play it safe and use a 5-wood off the tee. His shot sailed wide left, struck a tree and bounced 10 yards backward. After chipping out to the fairway, Nash’s approach came off the club hot and screamed across the putting surface and into the rough. Meanwhile, Reed followed a respectable drive by plopping his second shot within 2-1/2 feet of the cup.
Nash chipped on with the ball stopping about three feet short of the hole. He aimed left of the cup; however, the putt started at the center of the opening and tailed off to the right side. After a bit of anguish, Nash tapped in for a bogey.
Reed stared down his line and commented to the crowd, “It’s getting awfully quiet over there.” He, and everyone else, obviously knew the consequences of the putt: Make it and the tourney goes to a playoff. Miss and it’s over.
Reed slowly, but confidently, stepped up to the near-gimme, aimed carefully and … Nash won his 11th title in 17 years when Reed’s putt trickled just right of the hole.
Talk about a lip-biter.
The tragi-comedy of the final hole was basically the only dark spot on Nash’s round.
He finished with a two-over-par 72 and was two over for the tournament as well with a 142.
Reed wound up with a 76 in Sunday’s play to go along with the tourney’s low round of 67 for a composite of 143.
Tony Garrett, a two-time winner, started four back of the leader and wound up third with a 148 after shooting a 77. Brent Martin was in the championship group with a 73 on Saturday but faded to sixth, due to an 83. Ross Schulz was fourth with 153.
“That’s usually what happens when I play it safe: I get into trouble,” Nash said. “I probably should have hit my regular shot and went on. I usually hit driver and go for the green, but the first time through (on the nine-hole course) I pushed it right and into the trees and got lucky because it stayed in bounds. I pushed the putt a little bit and it lipped out, and I thought we were going into an extra hole, which I didn’t want to do because I was so drained from the heat.
“I was ready to get back to winning it. I hadn’t won in a couple of years and finished second in the Invitational last year, so it’s nice to get my name back up on the plaque. Alan played good, but he had a couple of bad breaks also.”
Nash played with a split on the middle finger of his left hand after severing a tendon while repairing a golf club with a razor blade a few weeks ago. The gash required only three stitches to close, but the loose tendon caused a couple of errant shots.
“It usually happens three or four times a round where the ball just goes wherever, and I never know when it’s going to happen,” Nash said. “I just lose my grip. Luckily, it didn’t happen too much today.”
The two leaders marked pars through the first three holes. Reed’s tee shot on No. 4, a dogleg right, 370-yard, par-four, was out of bounds. He walked back to the tee and knocked his third shot about 15 yards from the green by cutting the dogleg. Reed carded a double-bogey while Nash made par to drop Reed’s lead to one.
Two holes later, the double-bug bit Reed again. This time, Reed followed a nice tee shot with back-to-back chili-dips before two-putting for another six, giving Nash a one-stroke lead. It remained that way until No. 9, when Reed nearly knocked his approach in the hole (the ball struck the pin) and tapped in for a birdie to tie the match.
Reed and Nash played the first three holes of the second nine at even par. That’s when No. 4 reared its head at Reed one more time: He marked a bogey while Nash dropped home a birdie putt for a two-stroke lead.
Reed got one of those strokes back on the next hole but gave it back on No. 7 (the 16th hole) when Nash sank an tricky 8-footer to save par and go up by two with two left. Nash seemed to drive the nail home on No. 8 thanks to a 10-foot birdie putt.
“The key to the tournament was No. 7 and No. 8 the second time through. On 7, Alan hit his chip shot and had a ticklish putt left, and I told myself, ‘This is it. A one-shot lead can be two with two holes to go, and that would put me in the driver’s seat.’ Then I hit a good second shot on 8 and hit a putt that I saw Brent (Martin) and Tony (Garrett) leave right of the hole earlier in the round. I was feeling pretty confident,” Nash said.
“Then I got too cautious. I tell you, there has been many a tournament lost on that (No. 9) hole. Seven and eight were the whole tournament for me even though I butchered nine. Making those two putts gives me the cushion.
“I know exactly what Van de Velde went through. You play too cautious. and you hit the ball where it doesn’t usually go.”
When he went to the final hole, Reed said, he didn’t figure on having a shot at taking the tourney into extra holes.
“Kevin’s a good player, and I never expected him to let me back in it,” the Georgetown resident said. “The place to hit it is right in front of the bunker and hope for the big hop. I was hoping to run it up on the green, but I didn’t quite get the ball far enough right. After a decent chip, I knew what I needed to do, but I didn’t make the putt. It’s a three-foot putt, and you have to make those. I had a lot of opportunites but just never made them.
“I putted better yesterday. That last putt on the last hole, I just hit it too easy or didn’t play enough break. I knew the putt went right, but I didn’t think it was going to break that much.”
Jeff Schmidt was the first flight champion with a 155; Shane Miller won the second flight with a total of 163; Tom Gowers had a 147 in the senior flight for first, and Cole Duffy won the high school flight with a score of 159. Tyler Schmidt’s 185 was good enough for the victory in the junior division.
New Salisbury Membership Tourney
(par 70)
Kevin Nash 70-72 — 142
Alan Reed 67-76 — 143
Tony Garrett 71-77 — 148
Ross Schulz 76-77 — 153
Steve Beanblossom 76-77 — 153
Brent Martin 73-83 — 156
Rob Higdon 75-83 — 158
Alan Pate 76-WD
Jeff Schmidt 77-78 — 155
L.C. Nash 79-79 — 158
Bob Johnson 78-83 — 161
Lou Meisner 78-84 — 162
John Black 80-82 — 162
Brett Clunie 78-86 — 164
Les Long 83-85 — 168
Bob Trevee 83-86 — 169
Dennis Faith 83-87 — 170
Terry Prince 82-89 — 171
Dave Byerley 83-95 — 178
Shane Miller 86-77 — 163
Mike Wetzel 88-80 — 168
Larry Jones 85-86 — 171
Henry Shafer 87-85 — 172
Roger Beard 85-90 — 175
Mike Schmidt 84-91 — 175
Bill Breeden 88-88 — 176
Dan Alexander 87-89 — 176
Larry Allen 93-85 — 178
Dennis Hill 87-92-179
Jim Barr 101-85 — 186
Scott Shake 91-105 — 196
Terry Stephens 95-102 — 197
Lee Hancock 104-WD
Tom Gowers 72-75 — 147
Darrell Barrow 77-78 — 155
Elwood Murphy 82-87 — 169
Norman Kenne 88-84 — 172
Ken Hartfield 88-85 — 173
John Stutzman 88-90 — 178
Sheldon Tharp 94-99 — 193
Jack Neuman 100-94 — 194
Kim Beard 94-102 — 196
Jim Wolfe 83-WD
Ron Spencer 87-WD
Jerry McCleskey 104-WD
Cole Duffy 84-75 — 159
Zack Davis 84-78 — 162
George Stackhouse 81-82 — 163
Michael Rigot 90-74 — 164
Bryan Stephens 79-85 — 164
Shaune Davis 84-87 — 171
Ben Fouts 88-88 — 176
Mikel Breeden 97-95 — 192
Jordan Churchill 101-110-211
Kyle Mattingly 83-WD
Tyler Schmidt 94-91 — 185
Ryan Boone 93-101 — 194
Evin Magner 104-107 — 211