Zach attack: Davis takes first Membership title
Sunday’s final round of the annual New Salsibury Membership Tournament not only had an obvious youth movement, but it also could have been named the ‘North Harrison Invitational.’
At least three flights were won by players with North Harrison ties, and the Championship Flight was dominated by former and current Cougar players.
The highlight of the day was the victory by Zach Davis (NH alum of ’05), who edged Ross Schulz (Class of ’03) by two strokes, 141-143.
Davis started the day three shots back of the first-round pace setter, Chris Worrall (NH Class of 2009). Worrall shot an opening-round 69 on the nine-hole, par-70 course on June 17. Then, rain postponed the second trip until Sunday.
Worrall opened his final round with a double-bogey, then things went downhill fast for the youngster: He shot a 41 through the first nine, then followed it up with a 42 for a final round score of 83.
Schulz birdied the opening hole and shot a 36 on the front side, which wound up giving him a three-shot advantage on Davis.
‘I usually shoot better on the back side. I don’t know why but I have a tendency not to push as much and I just shoot better. As good of a player as Ross is, he’s not going to give up too many holes, so I wanted to try and execute every shot and go for birdie on every hole,’ Davis said. ‘My putting was what saved me.’
Davis knocked down four birdies on the back nine to stroll to the win.
The first came on the par-3 11th hole, and the second came on the 485-yard, par-5 14th, where he almost eagled with an oh-so-close chip onto the green.
The birdie on 11 knotted the affair between Schulz and Davis, who said the birdie there was the turning point of the match.
After both dropped home pars on the next hole, they both had par-putt attempts on tricky No. 16, which is a 208-yard par-3 with a blind tee shot.
Davis’ putt lipped out, and Schulz stepped up for his attempt to retake the lead.
Unfortunately, the shot came up just a touch short and he was forced to mark par.
‘I was pretty fortunate there,’ Davis said. ‘I didn’t expect Ross to miss his putt. My putt just hit a little bump just short of the cup and kicked it off line. I thought he had the lead at that point.’
Davis redeemed himself on the next green as he dropped home a 20-footer for birdie. Schulz’ birdie putt barely missed as Davis surged into the lead.
Both players had picture-perfect drives, with Schulz’ approach landing just a few feet past the hole and Davis’ shot coming up about 15 feet short.
Schulz wound up two-putting for par while Davis put an explanation point on the event with another bulls-eye putt.
Davis let loose with a whoop and a fist pump, shook hands with Schulz and immediately strolled over to kiss his bride of three months, Angela (who graduated from NH with Zach).
‘I was looking at a two-putt after Ross missed his birdie putt, but I backed off the ball and figured that since I’ve never been this close to winning before that I really needed to concentrate and make it if I could,’ Davis said. ‘I was scared to death and was shaking in my shoes when I got up there to putt, and I was fortunate that it went in. I expected Ross to make his putt and then I’d two-putt and we’d go to a playoff. He played great, Matthew (Bruce) played good; it was just a blast.’
Bruce started the day tied with Davis, but bogeyed the first hole and was forced to play catch-up the rest of the afternoon.
Bruce (a sophomore-to-be at North Harrison) shot a respectable 75 for the day and wound up third overall for the tournament.
Kyle Mattingly, who just graduated from North, was fifth, followed by NH freshman Dylan Spencer. Jeff Schmidt rounded out the championship flight in seventh place.
Alan Reed, who won the championship in 2001 and is always in the hunt, shot an opening-round 71, then had to withdraw from the tournament.
Three-time and defending champion Tony Garrett struggled in his opening round with a 79, but came back to win the First Flight after a three-hole playoff with Dennis Faith. Both had totals of 150.
L.C. Nash was third with a 157, followed by 2006 North Harrison graduate Michael Rigot (159).
Tom Rodgers won the second flight, besting Rob Higdon in a scorecard playoff.
North Harrison sophomore-to-be Allison Dooley won the Women’s Flight with a 162, followed by Angela Davis (Zach’s wife) with a 177.
Tom Gowers snared top honors in the Seniors’ Championship Flight with a total of 145. Dick Black was second (152), followed by Joe Hinton’s 155.
The Seniors’ First Flight was won by Jim Wolf (173), with Jack Neuman second (175).
In the High School Flight, North junior-to-be Cody Woolston won with a total of 166.
All of the golfers will have a chance to redeem themselves the first weekend in August as the 34th annual New Salisbury Invitational will take place.
New Salisbury Membership Tourney Champions
2006 Zach Davis
2005 Tony Garrett
2004 Tony Garrett
2003 Steve Beanblossom
2002 Kevin Nash
2001 Alan Reed
2000 Tony Garrett
1999 Kevin Nash
1998 Jerry Uhl
1997 Kevin Nash
1996 Tony Garrett
1995 Kevin Nash
1994 Kevin Nash
1993 Kevin Nash
1992 Kevin Nash
1991 Kevin Nash
1990 Kevin Nash
1989 Kevin Nash