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Ace in practice round sets up d’j’ vu for Nash

Ace in practice round sets up d’j’ vu for Nash
Ace in practice round sets up d’j’ vu for Nash
Kevin Nash takes a look over a tree on No. 15 before taking aim at the green. Nash won his third New Salisbury Invitational Sunday. Photo by Kevin Nash (click for larger version)

Kevin Nash didn’t even finish a practice round on Thursday at the New Salisbury Golf Course and he knew it could be a great weekend.
Playing a practice round with Mick Saulman, Nash was 5-under par through four holes before calling it a day. How did he get to 5-under? Birdied No. 1, made a hole in one on No. 2, parred No. 3 and eagled No. 4.
‘The ironic thing is, the last time I won here, I got a hole in one on No. 2 in a practice round with Jon Mathes,’ Nash said. ‘I came out here with Mick Thursday to play a few holes and had another hole in one. It was quite a confidence booster.’
Nash did the same, went out and won the 39th New Salisbury Invitational, closing the weekend with an even-par 70 to win by three strokes. He finished 4-under par overall with a 136.
‘My putter saved me,’ Nash said of using a new belly-style putter. ‘I had a lot of one putts on the backside. Over the last two days, I limited three putts, which put me in a good spot.’
On Saturday’s opening day, Nash carded his 4-under round to carry a three-stroke lead into Sunday. George Stackhouse had the only other under-par round on Saturday with a 69. Stackhouse struggled Sunday, fading with a round of 81.
Holding off Matt Bruce and Ross Schulz became Nash’s objective in the final group. Schulz birdied two of the first three holes on Sunday to draw within a stroke of Nash. A couple of rough holes on the first nine hampered Schulz’s chances. Finishing with a 33 on the back nine allowed Schulz to finish third.
Bruce held steady with an even-par front nine Sunday. When Nash carded a 38 on his front side, Bruce found himself one stroke off.
Nash, pressing his lead back to two on the back nine, held on despite a rough go on No. 17. He topped his drive but managed to take a bogey while Bruce moved the gap back to one stroke.
On No. 18, Bruce’s tee shot went right, hit a tree and fell just to the inside of the out-of-bounds marker. From the tee box, no one in the group was aware that Bruce’s shot was safe.
‘When Matt’s shot went right, we thought he went out,’ Nash said. ‘So, I made sure I went left. I hit a good second shot and made the birdie putt.’
Bruce took a bogey on the hole, eventually settling for second-place overall.
‘It’s always nice to come back to the course I grew up at and play well,’ Nash said.
It was his third title, the first since 2005.
He is also the first to pull off the Old Capital and New Salisbury Invitational sweep since Jack Miles in 1997.
‘I didn’t play well on the front nine (Sunday); it just didn’t feel right,’ Nash said. ‘But on the back nine, I got going. It was a lot like the Old Capital Invitational: front nine not good, much better on back nine.’
At the conclusion of the tournament, all the attention turned to No. 5. Played as a par-5 during the tournament, the green located in the middle of the fairway drew a crowd of onlookers for the final of the $1 million shootout.
From exactly 200 yards away with a center-pin placement, three qualifying golfers ‘ L.C. Nash, Jeff Schmidt and Larry Briscoe ‘ took their shots at the big prize. They qualified by being closest to the pin on No. 2 on Saturday.
If one of the three put the ball in the cup with one shot, they’d walk away with a million dollars. None of the three put a ball on the green, but Schmidt’s ball was the closest, 66 feet away, earning him a $1,000 consolation prize.
Winning the first flight was Joseph Hinton with a 148. The second flight went to Terry Emmerson with a 161 and the third flight was won by Billy Popp with a two-day score of 161. Bill Barnes claimed the fourth flight with a 173.

Championship Flight ‘ 1. K. Nash 66-70-136, 2. M. Bruce 70-69-139, 3. R. Schulz 70-70-140, 4. D. Easton 73-69-142, 5. D. Jackson 71-71-142, 6. C. Pittman 73-71-144, 7. M. Saulman 72-72-144.
First Flight ‘ 1. Joseph Hinton 76-72-148, 2. J. Arledge 75-73-148, 3. Jon Schmidt 76-75-151, 4. J. Schmidt 76-76-152, 5. J. Taylor 76-77-153, 6. B. Dooley 75-79-154, 7. N. Islam 77-78-155.
Second Flight ‘ 1. T. Emerson 80-72-152, 2. T. Beavers 79-77-156, 3. B. Morris 81-75-156, 4. K. Gholson 80-77-157, 5. B. Schneider 83-76-159, 6. L.C. Nash 79-80-159, 7. C. Smith 82-80-162.
Third Flight ‘ 1. Popp 84-77-161, 2. A. Dones 84-78-162, 3. T. Bagget 84-79-163, 4. G. Sarjeant 84-79-163, 5. B. Hinton 84-81-165, 6. J. Tuell 86-80-166, 7. B. Heilig 86-84-170.
Fourth Flight ‘ 1. B. Barnes 90-83-173, 2. J. Carpenter 91-86-177, 3. Biggs 98-89-187, 4. H. Shafer 98-90-188, 5. J. Hodge 93-95-188, 6. K. Lance 100-79-190*, 7. R. Tuell 100-93-193.
*10-percent rule