VALDOSTA — Local golfers teed off Monday in support of Valdosta High football.
A total of 72 golfers (18 four-man teams) competed in the inaugural Valdosta High Season Kick-Off Tournament on Monday afternoon at the Valdosta Country Club.
The four-man scramble raised thousands of dollars for the Valdosta High football program.
“It was an awesome day,” said Valdosta offensive line coach Ashley Henderson, who organized the tournament. “They played through the heat, which was brutal, but (the tournament) was a lot of fun. The response was real good, and I think it will be even better next year.”
The winning team was a foursome of former Valdosta quarterbacks. John Lastinger, John Bond, Dr. David Parker and Greg Talley finished with a score of 52.6. The foursome shot a 56, then the score was adjusted for their 3.4 average handicap.
The second-place team also included an ex-Wildcat quarterback, Dr. Ben Hogan. Hogan teamed with Ron Hogan, Terry Hiers and Greg Blais for a 52.8. Finishing third were Marcus Mullis, John Dennis Wetherington, Joe Patterson and Hernando Moreno with a 53.3. The top three teams received prizes for their performances.
Finishing fourth were Richard Lamon and a trio of present and former Wildcat football coaches — Charles Tarpley, Jerry Don Baker and Al Akins — with a 53.4. Blake McLeod, Bart Bosch, Keith Watson and Mike Davis were fifth with a 53.8.
The scores were low on Monday. Six teams shot under 54, 10 were below 56 and only one of the 18 teams failed to break 60 (after the scores were adjusted for handicaps). There was a two-putt maximum on the greens to help speed up play, and mulligans could be purchased.
Blais (Plantation hole No. 5), David Matthews (Bottom hole No. 2) and Jeff Sikes (Plantation hole No. 7) received prizes for being closest to the pin on selected holes. Scott Fletcher won the longest drive award.
The tournament was a fundraiser for the Valdosta football team. A number of former players, as well as several coaches (both past and present) played Monday. There were six former VHS quarterbacks competing, including the winning foursome (Ben Hogan and Berke Holtzclaw were the others).
The Wildcats were grateful to the Valdosta Country Club for letting them use two of its three nine-hole courses for the tournament.
“I have to thank the Valdosta Country Club and (head golf pro) Rob Williams for their support of this tournament. They’re first class all the way,” Henderson said. “Rob’s a big sports fan, and has done a lot for our local sports.”
This was the first Valdosta High Season Kick-Off Tournament, but the Wildcats plan on making this an annual event.
“We’re hoping to grow this tournament every year,” Henderson said. “Hopefully it will be a fun thing for these people, and a good fundraiser for us.”
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