Wes McNulty and Trey Schaap were going for their fifth consecutive Pine Bluff Country Club Invitational Four-Ball championship Sunday, when Schaap gave his partner a little reminder:
“They’re not going to give it us,” he said of their final-round opponents, Andrew Sanders and Trevor Durham.
McNulty, of White Hall, and Schaap, of North Little Rock, charged from two holes down through No. 14 to force a playoff hole, and Schaap eagled the par-5 No. 1 with about a 30-foot putt to seal the pair’s victory in the championship-flight final. The victory marked an exciting end to one of the most well-known four-ball tournaments in the state.
“Today was one of the most fun matches I’ve ever been part of,” said McNulty, the reigning Arkansas State Golf Association Stroke Play champion.
In addition to his duties as co-host of the KABZ-FM 103.7 sports talk show “Overtime,” Schaap is known as a competitive amateur golfer. With a longstanding reign of the PBCC Four-Ball crown in check, he said he felt a little worried after the 16th hole.
That’s when Sanders and Durham birdied for a one-hole lead.
“I knew they were good,” Schaap said. “We wanted to give ourselves a birdie. We told ourselves, if we don’t bogey, we’re not going to lose.”
McNulty responded with a birdie on the 17th to even the match. He came through again on the 18th to pull the duo out of trouble.
“My third shot on 18 went from the bunker into the back of a pickup truck,” Schaap said. “Wes made two good putts on that hole to keep us alive.”
McNulty knocked down a 6-foot putt for par to force sudden death.
“Trey played very well this week,” McNulty said. “I wish we had made more birdies, but we played very well.”
For McNulty and Schaap, the victory was reminiscient of their triumph in 2011, when McNulty eagled the extra hole to win. As Schaap recalled, the opponents then hadn’t yet reached the green and conceded the hole.
McNulty and Schaap’s first two victories in this year’s event weren’t quite as dramatic. They beat Kris Adkins and Joey Rector 5 and 4 in the first round and defeated Brad Tricket and Mike Satterwhite 4 and 3 in the semifinal.
The tournament was broken into 12 flights (counting the championship round), with the first 11 using an eight-team match play format. The last flight was a three-day stroke play format with six teams.
The tourney also capped an interesting two-week stretch for McNulty, starting with his play in the prestigious Western Amateur Championship at The Alotian Club in Roland. In between the tournaments, his coach and former longtime PBCC professional George McKeown was honored.
“This tournament has always been a big deal since I was younger,” McNulty said. “It’s a big deal to the people who win their flights. It’s real special for me to go out there and play well in front of the home crowd and have fun.”
PBCC Invitational Four-Ball finals
• Championship flight: Wes McNulty-Trey Schaap def. Andrew Sanders-Trevor Durham
• First flight: Jacob McGehee-Cameron Hurst def. Chad May-Mark Phillips
• Second flight: Not available
• Third flight: Cole Brucker-Kyle Blevins def. Sonny Baxter-Jeff Martin
• Fourth flight: Bill Appleton-Chuck Arrington def. Rusty McEntire-Trey McIntosh
• Fifth flight: Dennis Edwards-Carl Frames def. Tad Thornton-George Easley
• Sixth flight: Syd Tatum-Cliff Hopson def. Brian Ross-Dave Coleman
• Seventh flight: Rick Siler-Brett Davison def. Rob Luter-Jim Thomas
• Eighth flight: Keith Walters-Brandon Brewer def. Rodney Bell-Todd Bell
• Ninth flight: Ryan Terry-Ricky Francis def. Mark Ramiro-Regin Reginio
• Tenth flight: Danny Rasor-Rudy Kalkbrenner def. Frank Bridges-Perry Hoover
• Eleventh flight (stroke play): First place, Hudson Smart-Brandon Bussell; second place, Justin Durmen-Eddie Durmen