Albany pair falls to fourth in Georgia golf tourney

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

WAYCROSS - Two-time past champions Larry Clark of Kingston and Don Marsh of Johns Creek fired a second-round 64 and sit at 13-under-par 131 at the 19th annual Senior Four-Ball Championship on Thursday, taking the lead from Albany natives Ben Bedford and Bill Clantone at Lakes at Laura S. Walker and Okefenokee Country Club in Blackshear. Clark and Marsh hold a slim, one-shot lead over Bobby Brent Jr. and Jimmy Holman, both of Columbus, heading into the final round.

Steve Collins of Claxton and Wally Adams of Vidalia carded the low round of the day, 63, to move up into third place at 11-under 133. Four teams are tied for fourth at 8-under 136, including first-round leaders Ben Benford and Bill Clanton, both of Albany. After opening with a 63, Benford and Clanton turned in a 73 on Thursday. They are currently matched by Rocky Costa of Alpharetta and William Bader of Roswell; Jim Kamis of Marietta and John Holle of LaGrange; and Al Everett of Cumming and Dave Sexton of Suwanee.

Clark and Marsh, who won this Championship in both 2005 and '08, have yet to record a bogey in this year's competition, carding 13 birdies through 36 holes.

Of the 47 teams competing in the Championship flight, 39 still currently sit under par.

In the first flight, James Dills and Thomas Rood, both of Savannah, lead by one shot at 5-under 139. Andy Robinson of Columbus and Dan Trotter of Cataula lead the second-flight with a 1-over 145. Ernie Hollifield of Kennesaw and Tab Mefford of Atlanta are holding on to the lead in the third-flight lead at 6-over 150. In the fourth flight, Pete Fleming and Royce LeVaughn, both of Newnan, hold a one-shot lead at 14-over 158.

The Championship flight is playing all three rounds at the par-72, 6,475-yard Lakes at Laura S. Walker. The first through fourth flights are competing at Okefenokee Country Club - a par-72 layout playing to 6,412 yards.

The final round gets underway at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. The final pairing of leaders Clark and Marsh and Brent and Holman tee off from No. 1 at 10:20 a.m.

The low 48 teams based on combined handicap index comprise the Championship Flight. The remainder of the field was determined by lottery and flighted by team handicap index. Only the competitors in the Championship flight are eligible for the overall title. Entries were open to male amateur golfers who are at least 55 years old and members of a GSGA Member Club. The maximum handicap differential for flighted teams was six strokes.

Founded in 1916, the Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) received its official charter on June 24, 1924. Since that date, the GSGA has grown to one of the largest state amateur golf associations in the country, with over 355 member clubs and 85,000 individual members. With a mission to promote and preserve amateur golf in the state of Georgia, GSGA offers a computerized handicapping service, course rating and measuring, and annually conducts a full schedule of statewide competitions for men and women of all age groups. Other services include a summer-long junior sectional program, award-winning Golf Georgia magazine, membership recognition and rewards programs and a charitable foundation administering two college scholarship programs.