Published 8/7/2012 in Pro-Am
By BRETT MARSHALL
ULYSSES — For Jeff Howard, the second time to play in the Pioneer Electric Pro-Am was a step up from his inaugural visit in 2011.
Brad Nading/Telegram Professional Brent Marshall sprays sand as he chips on to the Bentwood golf courseÕs No. 9 green from a greenside bunker Monday during the Pioneer Electric Pro-Am in Ulysses. The one-day tournament is the kickoff event for this weekÕs Southwest Kansas Pro-Am.
Brad Nading/Telegram Amateur Michael Burch, center, hits a fairway shot on Bentwood Golf Course's No. 5 Monday in Ulysses during the Pioneer Electric Pro-Am. Burch's amateur playing partners, Kyle Korf, left, and Derick Schweer are shown watching the shot.
The 26-year-old native of New Orleans who now calls Plano, Texas, home, finished third a year ago at Bentwood Golf Course in the first-ever Pioneer Pro-Am and pocketed $300.
This time, he used a solid all-around game, hitting 13-of-18 greens in regulation, and took only 28 putts en route to a sizzling 6-under-par 66 to win by one shot over David Petry of San Antonio. Eric Adler of Houston and Stetson McMillan of Hideaway, Texas, shared third place with 3-under 69s, while Jared Vela of Pasadena, Texas, took fifth with a 70. Payouts were $500, $400, $250 each and $100.
Things were a bit closer in the amateur team portion of the competition as three teams shared first-place honors with 13-under-par 59s. A sudden death playoff with all teams involved saw one team with Randy, Tim and Donovan McCauley, while another McCauley, Jaly, was on one of the teams with Pam Jones and Aubree Summers. The third team was Kendall Metcalf, Tom Thompson and Whitey Summers.
In the playoff, the team of Metcalf, Thompson and Summers made birdie on the third playoff hole to edge Randy, Tim and Donovan McCauley for amateur honors. On the first hole of the playoff, Jaly McCauley, Jones and Summers were eliminated.
It was Thompson who made the 15-foot birdie putt to cap off the Pro-Am event after Metcalf had hit a 9-iron on the 146-yard, par-3 hole.
"He made a bunch of putts for us today," Metcalf said of Thompson, who ironically celebrated his 60th birthday a day early, sharing in a score that allowed his teammates to say that he had shot his age.
"They're the ones who usually put us in good position to make the putts," Thompson said. "We had a lot of fun, everyone contributed."
Summers, too, said the team was clicking throughout the round.
"Tom probably made five putts of 15 to 20 feet, that helps a lot," Summers said. "Our pro (David Petry) was really good and a lot of fun. He helped us out a bunch."
For Howard, he hopes the first-place finish will be a springboard to better things for his 2012 appearance at the Pro-Am, which for the pros will begin on Wednesday for the 72-hole event. Today, he was playing in the morning Ladies Pro-Am at Buffalo Dunes.
Last year, Ward missed the cut but then came back on Sunday to win the Wallace Electric, LLC, Shootout at The Golf Club at Southwind.
"I've got the front and back end of the tournament figured out, now I just need to do better in the middle," Howard said with a smile. "This is a good start to the week, though. It was a solid round."
Solid, considering he had just come off two weeks of missing cuts by two shots each in the Texas Open and an NGA Hooters Tour Event.
"It hasn't been a great season, but I've made six cuts in eight tournaments," Howard said of his Adams Golf Pro Tour Series 2012 effort. "Had a lot of top 20s, but only one top 10. I've struggled a bit, working some things out with the game, so this is a good confidence builder."
Howard said the lack of a fierce wind that beset golfers a year ago made the course play just a little easier.
"Had a lot of shorter irons into greens this time around," Howard said.
Driving two greens where he had eagle putts, making a 10-footer at the 327-yard, par-4, 10th, where his drive landed 10 feet from the hole and he knocked it in. He missed another on the 302-yard, 13th, but did make another eagle on the par-5, 1st, where his 7-iron from 195 yards came to rest 30 feet short of the hole, and he drained that one, too.
"Made some that you normally don't make, missed some that you'd like to say you usually make," Howard said. "That's the game. It all came out good, though. Can't complain."
The start of the day's round was inauspicious to say the least. Starting on the par-4, fifth, he bogeyed the hole while he was still trying to get warm and loosen up.
"After that, things got better," Howard said. "I gave myself a lot of chances and that's all you can do. You hope to take advantage of them. Today, it worked out."
Pioneer Electric Pro-Am
An Event of the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am
Bentwood Golf Course, Ulysses
66--Jeff Howard, Plano, Texas.
67--David Petry, San Antonio.
69--Stetson McMillan, Hideaway, Texas; Eric Adler, Houston.
70--Jared Vela, Pasadena, Texas.
71--Brent Marshall, The Woodlands, Texas.
72--Justin Kaplan, Houston.
73--Justin McDaniel, San Antonio.
75--Jason Eslinger, Midland, Texas; Stephen Hollingsworth, Natchez, Miss.
76--Key Young, Coppell, Texas.
81--Walker Frey, Garden City.
(First place team won sudden death playoff)
59--1. Kendall Metcalf, Tom Thompson, Whitey Summers; 2. Randy McCauley, Tim McCauley, Donovan McCauley; 3. Pam Jones, Jaly McCauley, Aubree Summers.
60--Michel Burch, Derick Schweer, Kyle Korps.
61--Ted Musgrove, Chris Castoe, Ken Kistler; Raymond Majors, Darren Russett, Jordan Russett.
62--Steve Epperson, Andrew Peters, David Romero.
63--Russ Frey, Reggie Burnett, Jay Warren.
65--Rob Kreutzer, Marcus Ramos, Justin Sanchez.
66--Shawn McCowan, Tom Vick; Stan Rice, Jeff Walker, Justin Cravens.
Found 0 comment(s)!