Chuck Taylor Golf Classic goes to sudden death

Team Samuels wins; Advances to Pinehurst

September 14, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The 17th annual Chuck Taylor Golf Classic, hosted by the Blue Raider Athletic Association, held a three-team playoff for the Championship flight on Tuesday. The winner will represent Middle Tennessee at the 2011 Acura College Alumni Team Championship hosted at the luxurious Pinehurst Golf Course Oct. 27-30.

The Chuck Taylor Classic was a 4-person, handicap, best-ball event held at Stones River Country Club.

Out of 45 teams, three teams emerged for the playoff. The team led by Don Midgett- son of former MT golf coach Wink Midgett, Bob Verble, John Polk and Gary Eakes; the team led by Greg Samuels, Melinda Samuels, Jim Knight and Kenny Thompson; and the final foursome led by former Blue Raiders Aaron Barnett and Trevor Wilson and Lefty Barnett and Charlie McWherter.

Team Samuels got off to a fast start as they net birdied hole #1. Team Midgett and Team Barnett missed birdie putts to settle for par on the first hole.

The longest of the three-hole playoff was the dogleg left hole No. 2. Team Samuels had to settle for a par by missing a key putt. This opened the door for Team Midgett to step up and tie the score at -1 under. Team Midgett’s John Polk missed a 2-foot birdie putt that proved to be critical for their team. Former Blue Raider baseball player Trevor Wilson teed off on No. 2 with a rocket drive. His approach shot was 15-feet from the cup, but on the fringe of the green. Wilson stepped up and sunk the crucial putt for a net eagle to put the Barnett team in the lead by 1 stroke at 2-under par.

The 3rd hole of the scheduled 3-hole playoff was the 155-yard, Par 3 No. 3 hole. Team Samuels member Melinda Samuels nailed a perfect tee shot settling four feet from the cup. With the pressure of a net eagle on the hole, and possibly winning the event, Melinda Samuels drained the putt to put her team in the lead at -3 under. That shot basically took team Midgett out of contention. Team Midgett had a par to complete their 3 hole playoff at even par.

Not knowing what the other teams had done ahead of them, Team Barnett teed off on No. 3, all reaching the green with their tee shots. Lefty Barnett nailed a beautiful tee shot just short of the pin. Lefty then made a short but tough 4-foot putt that broke left to right to tie the playoff and send it to sudden death.

Team Samuels net birdied the first sudden death hole on No. 4, putting pressure on the Barnett team. Team Barnett had all of their drives land in tough lies. Team member Charlie McWherter hit his approach shot landing 10 feet above the cup, leaving him with a tough downhill putt to send it to a second sudden death hole. McWherter had the right speed and line to tie the score at -4 under.

The 377-yard hole No. 5, along the banks of the Stones River would be the deciding hole in the match. Team Samuels played the hole to perfection with Jim Knight chipping onto the green within a foot of the cup. Then Knight knocked in the net birdie putt to place his team at -5 under. Team Barnett came off the tee with a couple steady tee shots but the long ball hitters ended up in the rough. Lefty Barnett, who had played a perfect round of golf to this point, hit his next shot just 25-feet above the hole, leaving him with a long putt to win the match with a net eagle. Lefty missed his first putt just short of the cup leaving him with a short putt to send it to a third sudden death hole. But Barnett missed the putt, making a net par for his team to end the match at -4 under par on the day.

“Overall it was a great event that we had to extend to another day to determine first place in the Championship flight. The great thing was that all three teams who were battling to win the trip to represent Middle Tennessee at Pinehurst have strong ties to MT Athletics. Any of these teams would represent our university with class”, stated Alan Farley, Associate Athletic Director.

“I hope all the teams had a great time. The competition was fierce but the final result is that we raised $50,000 for Blue Raider Athletics,” stated Farley.

Championship Flight
First Place: Team Samuels
Greg Samuels, Melinda Samuels, Jim Knight, Kenny Thompson

Second Place: Team Burnett
Lefty Burnett, Aaron Burnett, Trevor Wilson, Charlie McWherter

First Flight
First Place: The Parent Company
Til Bourland, Cole Bourland, Tom Gromley, Kenny Vanns

Second Place: Ajax Turner
Steve Crockerall, Jon Keene, Ray Pearce, Scott Turner

Second Flight
First Place: Team Martin
James Martin, Marsha Martin, Ken Fitzwater, Margaret Paschal

Second Place: Lightning Transportation
DJ Denning, Doug Jones, Denise Pridemore, Joe Conrad

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