The 30th WACO Open is in the books with a new winner — Gary Carpenter, of Crofton, Md.
Carpenter survived a challenge from several golfers on Sunday and won the title on the second hole of a playoff, carding a par putt on the 18th hole after Kenny Smith bogied.
Under a warm sun, Alex Hoffman charged to 4-under-par and then wilted in the final six holes. Carpenter was three behind but played steady golf while Smith recovered from two bogies to forge a playoff along with Rob Cimarolli.
As usual, the WACO was well-orchestrated with the several volunteeers on board — those handling the hole-by-hole scoring led by John Hersh; Carol Crabtree and Sharon Steiner with two days of scoreboard duty and done effortlessly, Dirk Schultz and Bill Hoffman and of course, tournament director Rod Steiner.
One opinion: Not too sure the new senior flight is needed under the new format that would cause confusion for anyone. Suggestion: If there is to be a senior flight, have that player, when he submits his entry, to declare at that time whether he wants to play in the senior flight or in the flight his handicap falls within despite being a senior. Simple process.
At any rate, we look forward to No.31.
The biggest stretch of golf in Washington County is straight ahead, beginning Thursday.
It’s the 29th WACO Championship week on Saturday and Sunday at Beaver Creek, but things get underway Thursday morning with the WACO Junior Championship at 8:30.
Thursday night at 5:30 is the Chi-Chi’s Shootout, claimed last year by Chuck Thatcher as he knocked off the sombrero usually worn by Dirk Schultz. On Friday at 5 is the Big Daddy Long Drive at the driving range.
Then it’s on to the big show with 150 golfers converging on Beaver Creek.
That brings us to Monday where the Tri-State Junior golf Association concludes another season with its annual Tournament of Champions, also held at Beaver Creek.
Lots of golf coming up and we’ll be there with all the information.
Sunday’s Arnold Palmer Invitational should be a sweet Sunday finish.
While any Tiger Woods fan obviously would kike to see him win, as I would, I think I might be pulling for another veteran to come through.
His game is rounding into form and I am going to pull for Ernie Els, right now 3 strokes behind.
Having not won in 3 years, Els is not eligible for The Masters, coming up in a few weeks. He needs a victory to gain entrance, and he certainly is the type of player that deserves being there. He’s not in the Golf Hall of Fame for nothing.
So, here’s hoping Ernie comes through.
Today was the first round of the Middle Atlantic Tournament of Champions at Beaver Creek Country Club with many of the outstanding club professionals on hand.
Tuesday will be the final round of the 36-hole event.
It is not often that tournaments conducted by either the MAPGA or the Maryland State Golf Association get up to Hagerstown. The last big one was the Maryland Open which was held at Fountain Head Country Club in 2008.
Beaver Creek has nothing to be ashamed of going up against the courses from around the region.
Players on Monday raved at the condition of the course.
Mike Steiner and his limited grounds crew were mowing fairways and cutting greens well into the dark hours Sunday and back at ‘em very early on Monday with one last manicure.
The people behind the scenes don’t get enough notice for their efforts. Steiner and his staff pulled off an eagle with their work for this tournament.
All of the prelims have been completed and Saturday begins the 28th WACO Championship at Beaver Creek Country Club.
As usual, I’ll be there both Saturday and Sunday and am looking forward to strong competition, looking for the top spot in the championship flight and three other flights.
Beaver Creek’s course is looking pretty good for the tournament. After my round on Friday, in which I did not do any damage to the course, I can say it quite honestly is in much better condition than a few other places I have played lately.
There are many outstanding golfers in the field of 154 players and it all begins Saturday at 6:30 a.m.
The first day of the U.S. Open championship is in the books with rory McIlroy leading the field following a beautiful 65. He looked in perfect form from the beginning with a fluid swing.
Spent time watching McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson in the same group, which started their day on No. 10, a 208-yard par 3 that played a little longer with some wind and over water. Mickelson came up short on his first swing of the championship, put it the drink, and ended with a double bogey on the first hole.
First, about the players: Men dressed in all colors, they come in all sizes and shapes and of course, nationalities. They have their caddies, legion of fans and their routine.
Second, about Congressional: the Blue Course is playing to 7,500 yards. Incredibly hilly, and no, I did not traverse each and every hill on Thursday. In fact, I kept within several holes on the back nine, with a foray to No. 1 and the massive putting and chipping practice areas which sit outside the beautiful clubhouse.
Third, about the Open: There was only a brief shower around 8:30 a.m. and again around 6:30 p.m. so it is good the first round was played in full. I’m amazed at the setup of the course and the unusual amount of space these guys had to walk between greens and tee boxes. In fact, I really thought they should have been putting the players on a shuttle card to take them between 9s, they are so, so far apart. And to turn in your scorecard, they might as well hire a taxi. It’s a tough course to walk, for everyone.
Fourth, about all the extras: It’s a multi-million dollar event. The pavilions, the concessions, the corporate setups, the merchandise pavilion etc. etc. It is far different then the last US Open I saw, much different than a British Open and even the PGA, of which I have been to two. You walk into the merchandise tent and it’s like ants swirling around under one roof. Of course, prices for everything are hefty.
Saw a few locals at Congressional — Kim Kell, Al Moyseenko, Kevin Breslin, Hugh Breslin, Sam Connelly, Dirk Schultz, Bill Hoffman, Chris Hafner among others.
Pulling for McIlroy to hold on all weekend for the championship.
Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Ben Crane and Bubba Watson have come out with this video. Golf’s new rock foursome! Click here This is the making of the video … to see the final product, clicking on Oh Oh Oh (Official video)
Good-by and don’t come back anytime soon Jimbo!
The Golf Channel has taken announcer extraordinairre (ugh) off the air following his attempted interview with Dustin Johnson’s caddy on Friday at the Northern Trust Open.
Only a fool that has no concept of right and wrong, no understanding of the gentlemen’s concept of gol and plain and simple no common sense, go onto the golf course seeking out a player and his caddy.
To set the situation up, Dustin Johnson was late for his tee time on Friday, his caddy not aware of the correct time. Johnson made it within 10 seconds, but was given a 2-stroke penalty.
Gray, is his ultimate wisdom, tried to get more on the story while Johnson and caddy were on the course.
Gray, as far as I’m concerned, doesn’t ever need to be seen on the tube again. What a moron move by an unprofessional.
In the Maryland state golf tournament on Tuesday, Smithsburg and North Hagerstown failed to qualify for the final round as a team.
There were six of 10 players that qualified for Wednesday’s round in the medalist race, with their score from today:
North Hagerstown — Becky Gossard (79), Aaron Staley (81)
Smithsburg — Christian Grosh (79), Matt Snowden (80), Kyle Huntzberry (82)
Clear Spring — Tyler Brown (81).
Well, it’s off to College Park Tuesday and Wednesday for the Maryland State Golf tournament.
We’ve got the North Hagerstown and Smithsburg teams competing for the 1A/2A team title and each of the players are in the medalist chase. The four players for North are Aaron Staley, Becky Gossard, Drew Miguel and Jason Moody. For Smithsburg it will be Kyle Huntzberry, Matt Snowden, Christian Grosh and Shane Fritts.
As individuals, there will also be Adam Schofield of Boonsboro and Tyler Brown of Clear Spring in the individual competition only.
The tournament returns to the University of Maryland after a two-year hiatus in which the course underwent repairs and cosmetic overhaul. We’ll see how it turns out.
Weather forecast includes 40% chance of rain, nothing new to the weather outlook at this time of year.
Hopefully, there will be good news to report not only from the first round, but when things wrap up on Wednesday.