Garrett outlasts youngster’s gutty effort
No one remembers who finishes second, right?
That theory was tossed out the window after Sunday’s final round of the New Salisbury Golf Club championship.
Tony Garrett won his third club title by one stroke over Matthew Bruce, 141-140.
What made Bruce’s achievement noteworthy … and memorable? Garrett is 40 years old, and Bruce is … well … he’ll be in the eighth grade at North Harrison Middle School this fall.
And it wasn’t a situation of an older fellow picking on the little guy. Bruce’s game is amazingly well-rounded for a player so young.
‘He was like a little gnat,’ Garrett said. ‘He just wouldn’t go away. I was fighting him the whole day, and he was always on me. He’s a good little player.
‘I thought if I shot even par today I’d have a good shot at winning. With (Bruce) making those birdies and chip-ins that he had, he got hot and I just didn’t know if I could stay with him,’ Garrett said. ‘I just wanted to stay with steady golf and think about my game and not his. I just wanted to hit the shots and play for par.’
Garrett last won the title in 2000 and also scored the club championship in 1996.
Each half of the duo shot one-under par 70s in Saturday’s opening round and remained tied through nine holes on Sunday.
At one point in the first nine, Bruce actually paced the field.
Then Garrett, last year’s runner-up, snatched a lead he wouldn’t relinquish on No. 10.
‘You always have to have a little bit of luck in a round, and that hole had good luck and bad luck. Good luck for me, bad luck for (Bruce),’ Garrett said. ‘When he chipped in twice on the front for birdies, there was a little bit of luck involved in that, too.’
Both players had good drives on No. 10, which was actually No. 1 on the nine-hole course. The second shot for Garrett was a touch short. It bounced high off a cart path, over the green, and plunked the tire of a golf cart of an earlier group, bouncing several feet back toward the hole. Bruce’s try for the green, however, was long and left him a slightly downhill shot to the putting surface.
‘My chip was still pretty difficult,’ Garrett pointed out. ‘I got lucky. I hit a poor second shot, and it bounced off the cart and left me with a difficult chip.
‘That was the best putt I made all day was after that chip. I missed a good putt putting for birdie on 16. That putt I hit on 10 got me through.’
The match got interesting in the final three holes.
Bruce bogeyed No. 16 while Garrett tapped in for par to put Garrett up by three strokes. Garrett went on to bogey 17, with Bruce making par.
Garrett’s second shot on 18 left him with an uphill pitch to the hole. He stopped the ball on a dime just a foot or two from the cup.
‘I knew once I hit the chip up there that it was over, no matter what (Bruce) did,’ Garrett said.
It’s a good thing the champ’s shot was a good one, because Bruce wound up making birdie to finish with a final-round 71.
Alan Reed, who started the day three shots back of Garrett and Bruce, rode a roller coaster in his second nine. He birdied three of five holes to work to even par for the day. Then he posted a bogey and a double-bogey before marking back-to-back birds to finish the round.
L.C. Nash was the final member of the final foursome, but a 10-over front nine put him out of contention. On the back side, Nash bogeyed each of the first five holes before carding pars on the final four.
Last year’s champion, Steve Beanblossom, did not play in the event. Neither did 10-time champ Kevin Nash, who was busy taking a test (he’s in pursuit of his masters’ degree).
Reed wound up third with a 143, followed by three members of North Harrison’s golf team: Jon Schmidt (145), Zach Davis (151) and Kyle Mattingly (156).
In the First Flight, Michael Rigot, another member of NH’s links squad, was the winner with a 152. Ross Schulz, a graduate of North Harrison and qualifier for this week’s Indiana Amateur title at Brickyard Crossing in Indianapolis, shot a 155 for second place.
Bob Terveree won the Second Flight in a three-hole, card playoff against Terry Stephens. Both golfers fired 177s.
Tom Gowers won the Senior Flight with a 149, Bryan Stephens won the High School Flight with a 154, Will Jones won the Junior High Flight with a 181, and Allison Dooley scored a championship in the Ladies Flight (204).
— Ross Schulz shot an 88 in the opening round of the104th annual Indiana Amateur Championship on Monday. He carded a 43 on the front side and a 45 on the back for his 88.
Second round information from yesterday (Wednesday) was not available at press time.
After the second round, the 60 lowest scores will move on to third round action.
T. Garrett 70-70’140
M. Bruce 70-71’141
A. Reed 73-70’143
J. Schmidt 75-70’145
Z. Davis 76-75’151
K. Mattingly 78-78’156
L.C. Nash 73-85’158
B. Fouts 75-WD
M. Rigot 79-73’152
R. Schulz 79-76’155
R. Higdon 80-77’157
T. Emerson 83-80’163
L. Long 84-83’167
M. Wetzel 82-86’168
R. Dooley 81-88’169
D. Hill 84-86’170
B. Terveree 93-84’177
T. Stephens 86-91’177
D. Clunie 85-93’178
H. Shafer 86-93’179
C. Jones 91-90’181
L. Delaney 87-97’184
D. Zollman 94-104’198
D. Conrad 94-112’206
T. Gowers 71-78’149
L. Meisner 82-82’164
D. Block 82-88’170
R. Webb 99-88’187
J. Neuman 83-WD
J. McClesky 94-WD
High School Flight
B. Stephens 78-76’154
C. Brunner 83-WD
Junior High Flight
W. Jones 91-90’181
D. Spencer 94-100’194
R. Dust 90-NS
A. Dooley 106-98’204
C. Barr 116-109’225