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Clay, Howerton top field

Woody Clay and John Howerton could only cast a wary eye behind them in Sunday’s closing round of the Halifax Country Club Two-Man Tournament.

A five-stroke lead the pair had built Saturday was slowly crumbling under the weight of a charge by Jimmy Clay and James Lewis.

Woody Clay and Howerton held on, however, and they topped a competitive field with their second win in the annual tournament, played this year in honor of club member and former South Boston City Manager Aubrey Houghton.

The winners fired a two-day total of 62-68-130, one stroke ahead of Clay and Lewis, with high school golf standouts Joey Gasperini and Peter Gasperini finishing third and Jay Burnett and David Meeks rounding out the top-four finishers in the First Flight.

Jackie Caldwell and Charlie Baskervill teamed to win the Second Flight for the tourney, Troy Hawkins and Robbie Elliott won the Third Flight, and Donald Gravitt and Donnie Hughes won the third flight after a three-way playoff.

This is not the first time Clay and Howerton have paired for a tournament.

”We play well together, and the field was really competitive.  We just hit the ball good and made a lot of putts,” said Clay.

A strong wind and dry greens challenged the entire field on Sunday, with higher scores the result.

“Today, we kind of struggled a little bit, but we had enough of a lead,” added Clay.

“There was a lot of wind, and the greens were hard, but we putted pretty good.

“We knew we had a pretty good lead on everybody, but we played pretty conservative and it almost cost us.

“We just got so far ahead yesterday, and we did play solid both days.

“The thing today was the wind was blowing harder and the greens were harder.”

His partner played as well as he’d seen him play, Howerton explained.

“Woody played so good this weekend, as good as I’ve seen him play, and I’ve seen him play well in the many years I’ve been playing with him,” said Howerton.

“We only made one bogey all weekend, and when he was out of a hole, I stayed in.

“It was a good partnership.  We communicate well, and we talk.”

Howerton added he was pleased with the condition of the golf course considering the harsh winter just recently concluded.

“All in all, I’m very pleased with it,” said Howerton.

Houghton could not attend Sunday’s awards ceremony but through a letter reminded the club of the camaraderie and good sportsmanship that has existed there for as long as he’s been a member.

“I’ve had the privilege of playing at the country club for 56 years and have played some of the best golfers, losing to them all,” Houghton joked in the letter.

He recalled Dick Bailey coming to South Boston in 1959 to become the general manager of U.S. Plywood. 

“Dick was probably the best golfer ever to be a member of the club,” said Houghton of Bailey, who’d competed in at least two U.S. PGA tournaments. 

“Dick was there with a pair of other out-of-town guests looking for someone to play with, and about that time a fellow came into the room and said he didn’t have anyone to play with.”

Bailey asked him what his best round of golf had been, and although it was 120, Bailey invited him to play with him and his guests, Houghton recalled.

“That was Dick, and that was the game of golf.”

Another area golfer had a good tournament over the weekend.

Kyle Gravitt, playing with Robert Fallen, hit his first-ever hole-in-one on No. 8 on Saturday.

 

Results

FIRST FLIGHT

Woody Clay-John Howerton (1st)62-68-130

Jimmy Clay-James Lewis (2nd)67-64-131

Peter Gasperini-Joey Gasperini (3rd)67-69-136

Jay Burnett-David Meeks (4th)68-70-138

Mark Reopkis-Tommy Daniel66-72-138

Kevin Haskins-Brad Schrader65-74-139

Brad Mele-Drew Lewis 68-73-141

Justin Shepperd-Chad Lipscomb69-72-141

Dennis Witt-Luke Bohm69-72-141

Bill Singleton-Clint Moon69-73-142

 

SECOND FLIGHT

Jackie Caldwell-Charlie Baskervill (1st)71-66-137

Bob Tysinger-Gary Gupton (2nd)71-67-138

Brent Myers-Dave Ashwell (3rd)73-68-141

Ronnie Moore-Phil Rinker (4th72-69-141

Tommy Spencer-Bob Thomasson72-72-144

Mike Hailey-Tom Kluge72-72-144

W.J. Long-Lurdy Stinespring73-72-145

Robert Fallen-Kyle Gravitt70-76-146

David Graham-Joel Cunningham Jr.71-75-146

Steve Vaughan-Chris Young72-75-147

Nathan Lantor-Arthur Lantor72-77-149

 

THIRD FLIGHT

Troy Hawkins-Robbie Elliott (1st)74-69-142

Brandon Harris-Sammy Puryear (2nd)74-73-147

Mike Jenkins-Earle Orme (3rd)75-74-149

Grey Ramsey-Chris Coleman (4th)77-73-150

Sam Lewis-George Burton77-74-151

Leon Plaster-Mike Rand75-77-152

Jay Henderson-Walter Robertson77-75-152

Kwang Kim-S. Song76-76-152

Roy Bradley-Sam Fisher77-76-153

Paul Butler-Daniel Ivey77-84-161

 

FOURTH FLIGHT

Donald Gravitt-Donnie Hughes (1st)79-78-157

John Hayes-George Hayes (2nd)79-78-157

Jeff Barger-Mark Dickerson (3rd)83-74-157

Chuck Newcomb-Johnny Wilson (4th)83-77-160

Bob Compton-J.E. Tuck80-80-160

John Morgan-Tyler Willis78-85-163

Fred Mistal-Pransit Thanaporn83-82-165

Jimmy Allen-Mark Smith83-86-169 

Dabney Gilliam-Dexter Gilliam84-85-169