Wes McNulty’s schedule doesn’t let him play as many Arkansas Golf Association Designated events as he did 20 years ago.
With his sons playing baseball and golf throughout the summer and trying to run a farm things can get pretty busy for the White Hall resident, but he always makes it a point to try and play when the ASGA-designated events come to his hometown golf courses.
This weekend the ASGA-designated event is at Pine Bluff Country Club and McNulty sits in a tie for the lead in the men’s regular division after shooting a 4-under-par 67 on Saturday.
“I played real well on the front nine,” McNulty said. “I putted well. My driver was a little erratic, but I’m pleased with 4-under.”
McNulty said he hopes to have more success navigating the narrow fairways of PBCC when he tries to close out a win on the tournament’s second and final day.
“I hope that I can drive it better,” he said of his plan for Sunday. “That’s always kind of been the best part of my game — off the tee. I am usually good at hitting it straight and being able to keep it in play.
“I’ve played here for 30-something years; I’m not going to change my approach.”
Granted McNulty was playing at his home course, but Saturday’s round was still impressive considering how few times McNulty has played in tourneys this year. McNulty said he believes he’s won three of the four ASGA-designated events he’s played in this summer.
“I don’t play nearly as much as I used to,” he said. “But I have played well this year in the few tournaments I have played in.
“I’ve won three events, I believe.”
To earn his fourth win of the year, McNulty will have to — at the very least — outplay Tyler Reynolds, who also finished with a 67 on Saturday.
“Tyler played very well, too,” McNulty said. “He’s been playing well all year. … He’s a great young man. He hits it a long way, and putts well.
“He’ll play well (Sunday). I think I’ll need to shoot 3- 4- maybe even 5-under to win.”
McNulty knows Sunday won’t be a two-horse race, even with Reynolds and himself four strokes clear of the field, because there are seven other players within five shots of the lead.
“This is the best field that Pine Bluff Country Club has had in 15 years,” McNulty said. “There are a lot of really good players here.”
McNulty added that the difficulty of the course is part of the reason those on the leaderboard are bunched so tightly together.
“This course plays difficult,” he said. “But it’s different than what people are used to playing. This course proves a course doesn’t have to play long to play somewhat difficult.
“You can challenge the golf course, but the golf course has usually always won. But if you can stay at or below par, you’re always going to be in contention here. And I don’t expect any different (Sunday).”