Wes McNulty and Trey Schaap called it an early day on Saturday in their second-round matchup at the Pine Bluff Country Club Invitational Four-Ball.
McNulty and Schaap beat Dennis Curtis and Michael Spann by eight with seven holes left. Whatever holes McNulty and Schaap did not have to golf of Saturday, Ross Rickels and Randy Smith decided to make up for in their matchup with Dean Chambliss and Spencer Robinson.
Rickels and Smith were up by one stroke with one hole left, but Chambliss and Robinson tied up the match. That led to a total of 27 holes of golf for the pair; Smith parred No. 10 and Chambliss and Robinson bogeyed it.
“That’s a true marathon,” Rickels said. “It was a long, hard fought match.”
Rickels’ and Smith’s win guaranteed the top two seeds in the Championship Flight will face off at 1:30 p.m. today for the title. McNulty and Schaap, who are going after their fourth straight title, are the No. 1 seed and Rickels and Smith are the second seed.
While Smith and Rickels are happy to make it to the championship round, they may not have as much fun as they did on Sunday.
The pairing with Chambliss and Robinson on Saturday was a regular occurance for the four since they are all good friends and from Pine Bluff.
“We play with them about twice a week and that was just another Saturday or Sunday afternoon match,” Chambliss said. “But we always quit after 18 holes. It was a fun match. Been a long time since I have played 27 holes. Ross and Randy are good players and it will be a good match (today).”
While Rickels enjoys playing with his good friends, it also made it a hard match.
“Each one knows each other’s games and you know where the strengths and weaknesses are,” he said. “Hard to play against someone you play with so much. … It’s a shame anyone had to lose a match like that.”
Rickels and Smith lead since the second hole and the largest lead they had was by two holes. After Chambliss and Robinson tied up the match on the final hole, each group parred the next eight holes to keep it even before Smith sank his putt for par on the hole No. 10.
It was the second day in a row that both groups played more than 18 holes. Rickels and Smith played 19 on Friday’s opening day and Chambliss and Robinson golfed 20 to get to the second round.
McNulty and Schaap won Friday’s first-round match by five with four holes left. Those two are fresh, while Rickels, 60, and Smith, 61, might be out of golf they admitted.
“We’re done. We will show up (today) and that’s about it,” Smith said with a laugh. “I think we played more today than Wes and Trey have played all weekend,”
Rickels added: “You might want to get here early tomorrow.”
But on Friday, McNulty mentioned that Rickels and Smith know the course very well and were contenders for the title.
Even though Smith and Rickels may be exhausted on Saturday, Smith said anything can happen today.
“Some days we come out and we play like Ben Hogan, and some days we come out and play like Hulk Hogan,” he said. “You got to figure out who will show up (today) and we won’t know until we show up. On paper, they are way ahead.
“Our goal was to get to the number one tee (this) afternoon, and we did that. We are pleased to be there and can’t ask for anything more.”