Village people win rain-checked Harbor Oaks Mixed Invitational

A much-needed rain blew through the area Sunday afternoon, providing the grounds at Harbor Oaks Golf Course some relief from the sweltering heat.

But the mid-afternoon precipitation caused a delay in the 16th Annual Mixed Invitational that eventually ended the event after nine complete holes as Hot Springs Village’s Andy and Katie Speir held on to win the championship flight of the tournament with a two day tally of 68-34—102.

Harbor Oaks PGA Professional Ken Smith said lightening in the area caused the delay, which lasted more than an hour, prompting course officials to cancel the rest of the tournament after players had finished just over half of their rounds.

“We ended up running about 20 minutes late because of a cell that had built up to the South of us and we were right at the tip of it,” Smith said. “We wanted to get that clear of us so we wouldn’t have any lightening problems. They got in about 11 holes and we waited as long as we possibly could to allow them to get in as many holes as possible.”

After waiting out the storm for an hour, Smith decided to call it a day and revert back to the nine completed holes to determine the winner.

“It was just too long to ask people to wait and send them back out,” Smith said. “We decided the tournament would be called and we would determine a winner from there.”

The Speir’s, who held the first-round lead by one stroke over Steve and Vicky DeLaughter, were 2-under after nine and 3-under after 12 when the players were forced to the clubhouse. The DeLaughter’s had matched the Speir’s stroke-for-stroke on the front nine, remaining a stroke back when play was halted.

“We would rather have played the tournament out to see what happened,” Andy Speir said. “But that’s part of golf. It was fun and we had a good time just like we always do. We have played every year and we have as much fun out here as any tournament we play in. (Club owners) Donny and Phyllis (Thomas) do a great job and put on a great tournament.”

Ralph and Rhonda Haynes extended their two-stroke lead in the first flight with a 37 and won by four strokes over Gary and Verona Bebow who carded a 35. John and Pam Bowman came from a stroke down after Saturday’s opening round of 76 to shoot 33 and capture second-flight honors over Gary and Debbie Johnson.

Gary and Sue Moore claimed the third flight with a total of 74-38-112, three strokes better than Sam and Pam Schisler at 76-39-115.

Marshall and Carrie Thomsen won the fourth flight by four strokes over Jimmie and Nancy Carpenter after carding a 41. O’Neil and Harolyn Falgoust won the fifth flight by overtaking Rodney and Linda Landes with a 36 as the Landes’ turned in a 38.

Bill and Brenda Hall claimed the sixth flight with an 84-40—124 while Howard and Sharon Deapo finished second at 85-43-128.