After Saturday’s round, Tony Capshaw said he’d feel good about his chances of winning the Pine Bluff City Championship if he shot “somewhere between 71, 72 or 73” on Sunday.
Well, Capshaw missed his target with a 75, but even if he had shot a 71 he still would have lost the tournament by two strokes.
That’s because 67-year-old Earl Goldman not only maintained his one-stroke lead over Capshaw entering the day, but also extended it by shooting the tournament’s lowest round — an even-par 70.
Despite the six-stroke final margin, Goldman’s win was not a foregone conclusion.
Goldman and Capshaw, 32, were battling through the first 11 holes with Capshaw holding a slight advantage. The momentum started to shift in Goldman’s favor when Capshaw hit the ball out of bounds on No. 12.
“It was a game-changer,” Capshaw said.
With a two-stroke lead, Goldman eagled No. 15 to give himself a four-shot cushion with three holes to go. Goldman didn’t let up, though, as he pared the final three holes to finish with a two-day score of 143.
“The biggest thing was just staying focused on what I had to do,” Goldman said.
Despite his and Capshaw’s back-and-forth battle early in the round, Goldman said he never felt any pressure.
“I knew that if I play my game I can win this tournament,” Goldman said.
The biggest improvement in the Open Division from Saturday to Sunday came from one of the competition’s youngest participants, 22-year-old Caleb Ray.
Ray, who is from Cabot, shot an 85 on Saturday, but followed that up with a 75 on Sunday.
The 10-stroke improvement was good enough to jump him from being tied for 16th going into the day to finishing in eighth place.
When asked why he played so much better on Sunday, Ray said, “To be honest with you, today, I got to ride in a golf cart.
“Yesterday, I had to walk the whole way.”
The one division that never seemed to be in doubt was the Senior Division.
White Hall football coach Mike Vaughn, who shot Saturday’s lowest overall score at 73, entered the day with an eight-stroke lead over Jerry Mayer.
Despite the big lead, Vaughn tried to keep the same approach.
“I’m not a good enough golfer to change my approach,” Vaughn joked after Sunday’s round. “It was a tough day for everybody out there,” Vaughn said. “On a lot of the holes, I just got lucky about where my ball landed.”
Vaughn, who shot a four-over 74 on Sunday, ended up beating Mayer and Corky Frames by 14 strokes.
“I really have to thank Xavier (Powell) and Gene Stewart,” Vaughn said, echoing several of the tournament’s participants. “They put this whole thing together themselves, and they did a great job.”
The lone come-from-behind win of the day went to Abel White, 77, in the three-man Super Senior Division.
White, who shot a 78 on Saturday, entered the day one stroke back of longtime golfing buddy Billy Kimbrell. White, though, posted a five-over 75 tied for the third best score of the day, regardless of division.
“Today, I putted a little bit better,” White said. “That was the biggest difference.”
Kimbrell shot a 79 on Sunday, which allowed White to come back and win by three strokes with a two-day score of 153.
“I just had too many double bogeys,” Kimbrell said about his round.
With the win, White earned some bragging rights over Kimbrell and Joe Wood, who finished with a two-day score of 158.
That is until they take the course again.
“This was really fun, because these are the guys I always play with,” White said. “It can get really competitive.
“It’s hard to tell, most of the time, who will win.”
Pine Bluff City Championship
Leaderboard (final results)
Open division (top 10)
1. Earl Goldman, 73-70 — 143
2. Tony Capshaw, 74-75 — 149
3. Michael Costello, 75-75 — 150
Tie-4. Greg Detore, 78-79 — 157
Tie-4. Anthony Green, 81-76 — 157
6. Tony Washington, 77-81 — 158
7. Ricky Riggins, 81-78 — 159
8. Caleb Ray, 85-75 — 160
9. Mike Lewis, 81-80 — 161
Tie-10. Jim Moser, 81-81 — 162
Tie-10. Curt Ray, 81-81 — 162
Tie-10. Joe Robertson, 79-83 — 162
Senior division (all entrants)
1. Mike Vaughn, 73-74 — 147
Tie-2. Corky Frames, 82-79 — 161
Tie-2. Jerry Mayer, 81-80 — 161
Tie-4. Joe Frenzil, 82-82 — 164
Tie-4. Gerald Young, 84-80 — 164
6. J.P. Welch, 83-83 — 166
7. Cy Enang, 82-91 — 173
8. Bill Varnell, 95-81 — 176
Tie-9. Wayne Rasor, 84-95 — 179
Tie-9. Ed Harrison, 89-90 — 179
Super Senior division (all entrants)
1. Abel White, 78-75 — 153
2. Billy Kimbrell, 77-79 — 156
3. Joe Wood, 81-77 — 158