One current and one soon-to-be member of the Arkansas State Golf Association Hall of Fame battled it out Saturday at Pine Bluff Country Club.
Bev T. Hargraves, who will be officially inducted on Oct. 24, shot the lowest score of the day and the only under-par score during the first day of the two-day ASGA Designated tournament.
His closest competitor in the Senior Division (55-64 years old) is 1999 ASGA Hall of Fame inductee Stan Lee.
Hargraves shot a three-under par 68, while Lee shot a one-over 72.
The Open Division’s (39-younger) Mark Bartlett was the only player to shoot an even-par 71 on the day finishing with a one-stroke lead over David Dyer.
David Shirey shot a 74 and leads the Mid-Senior Division (40-54) by two strokes over Austin Franks.
Oscar Taylor, 71, of Hot Springs Village leads the Super Senior Division (65-over) by four strokes thanks to a one-over par 72.
“The front side and the back side are like two different courses,” Taylor said. “The front side has a lot of left-to-right doglegs, whereas the back side is wide open.”
The doglegs and the trees that come with them posed problems for even Hargraves.
“You got to hit it straight,” Hargraves said. “The course is very tree-lined.
“If you get off the fairway you’re not going to have a clear shot. The drive is definitely the most important thing.”
Hargraves, 61, of Helena-West Helena, said Saturday was the first time in four years he’s played at the Pine Bluff Country Club.
“You have to pay attention to the green speeds,” Hargraves said. “There are a lot of birdie opportunities out there.”
The fast greens gave Taylor some trouble.
“I’m used to playing on bentgrass,” Taylor said. “This here is Bermuda, so it plays a little faster.
“It’s a pretty good transition, but it is still hard.”
The greens might not have given Taylor as many problems as having to play through some other groups out on the course.
“We had to play through a couple of groups at (No.) 14,” Taylor said. “When you get a little older you tend to lose your concentration a little easier.”
Lee, who won the 2007 USGA Senior Amateur tournament at Flint Hills National Golf Club in Wichita, Kan., was not pleased with his round.
“I did not play well, today,” Lee said. “I hit a lot of just lousy shots.
“I’m really disappointed with my score.”
Lee, 60, of Heber Springs has a brother Louis who’s a pretty good golfer, too.
Louis won the 2011 USGA Senior Amateur tournament at Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin Sabot, Va., just outside of Richmond, and was inducted into the ASGA Hall of Fame in 2006.
When asked about what he thinks he’ll need to shoot to win tomorrow, Lee looked out at those still playing on the course, including Hargraves.
“Bev Hargraves was out there shooting really well,” Lee said. “It will take a 68 or better.
“After tomorrow, I’m probably going to wish I had another round left.”