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Clay rallys for Green’s Folly championship

Jimmy Clay is not entirely used to playing from behind in championship tournaments, but he used a second-day rally Sunday to come away with the Green’s Folly Golf Course Championship.

Combined with last week’s win at the Halifax Country Club Championships, Clay has won five straight championships at the two courses.

This one, like last week, didn’t come easy as Clay battled back from a two-stroke deficit after the first day, trailing Mike Gregory (69) by two strokes and Scott Vaughn (70) by one stroke.

While other contenders faltered on Sunday, Clay shot a 69 for a two-day total of 145, five strokes ahead of Gregory and seven ahead of Vaughn.

Bobby Wilborn won his second straight Green’s Folly Senior championship on Sunday with a two-day total of 74-77-151, three strokes ahead of Sammy Moser and Bill Robinson, with Moser awarded second-place after a match of cards.

Clay admitted his play on Saturday wasn’t the best, requiring a rally on day two at his home golf course.

“I was down two strokes the first day and wasn’t playing smart,” admitted Clay.

“I was four shots down after No. 3 today, and I started playing smart again.”

Clay was two shots down going into 11, and he birdied 11, 13 and 18 on the back side of the golf course.

“I hit fairways, hit greens and made pars,” he explained.  “It’s tough on the back side if you don’t hit the fairways and greens, and I don’t think I missed a green back there.

“After No. 3, I was four shots down and I told myself hit your greens and make them come to you and then make them go away from you.”

When he got down, he didn’t press the issue, Clay explained, rather he stuck to his game plan.

“The advantage was going to come seven through 18,” said Clay, who birdied No. 7 to start his rally.

“I hit the ball good.  The golf course played really long and the blue tees are really tough.

“My holes are seven through 13 and I try to hold on until I get to certain holes.

“You need to have a game plan, and I had a game plan from the time I teed off to the time I finished.”

Wilborn admitted his second senior championship in two years came a whole lot harder than the previous one.

“I’m getting older,” he admitted with a smile.

“Tournaments are different than just playing golf.  There’s a whole lot of pressure out there, and everybody wants to make this county cup, so there’s even more pressure.

“Of course I wanted to win this, and I did, I was lucky.  I’m just blessed, that’s all.”

Wilborn was tied for the lead with Peter McCready after the first day of play, and Moser was a stroke behind for the senior championship.

Moser went into the back nine two shots up in Sunday’s second round, but one bad hole took Moser out of contention for the championship, according to Wilborn, who held on down the stretch for the Senior championship.

Joey Gasperini came home the winner in the First Flight on Sunday, ahead of Chris Young and Robert Fallen.

David Day won the Second Flight, ahead of Robinson and Billy Payne, and Walter Robertson won the Third Flight, with Doug Newcomb finishing second and Kelly Puryear finishing third.