Curry wins MGA title at Dalhousie

Monday, September 18, 2006
B.J. Curry hit off the number one tee at Dalhousie Golf Club in the final day of the Missouri Mid-Amateur golf tournament Sunday. (Fred Lynch)

The Sedalia golfer sank a birdie put on No. 18 to claim the Mid-Amateur by one stroke.

After several hours of tight competition, a short episode of rain and bad fortune on the side of Richard Gleghorn, it was B.J. Curry who emerged as the victor in the 12th edition of the Missouri Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship at Dalhousie Golf Club on Sunday.

Curry, 46, of Sedalia, Mo., shot a 2-under 70 in the final round to finish at an even-par 144 and claim his second state championship in the last three years. He captured the 2004 Missouri Stroke Play title in 2004.

As dark storm clouds threatened overhead, the action on the 18th hole served as nothing short of a classic finish on Sunday.

As part of the next-to-last trio to finish and with a promising grip on the lead, Curry and Gleghorn went neck and neck onto the long, hilly green on the final hole. Gleghorn, who was tied with Curry at 66 after 17 holes, delivered a nearly-perfect second shot to within 15 feet of the hole, setting up an eagle opportunity that would all but seal the title. Gleghorn missed his eagle putt, then proceeded to misfire his 4-foot birdie putt and wound up with a par.

Meanwhile, Curry chipped his third stroke within a couple feet and tapped in for a birdie to take the overall lead in the clubhouse, which would prove to be the low score of the tournament..

"It's 2 feet, but it means a lot," Curry said of his final putt. "It wasn't just stepping up and putting it in."

Curry was quick to dish out credit to Gleghorn, who he has known for several years.

"Richie is going to make that 15-footer the majority of the time," he said. "He played very well today.

"Nobody wants to go down that way. I personally think it would have been fitting for us to go into a playoff."

Gleghorn, a Springfield resident, ended up tied for second with Kirkwood's David Johnson, who fired a tournament-low 69 in the final round to improve seven strokes from Saturday.

Bryan Johnson of Dalhousie tallied a 70 on Sunday to nab fourth place. He was the lone area golfer in the top 25.

Ben Godwin of Poplar Bluff was fifth at 3-over, and Tom Barry, who held the lead at 72 after the first round, fired a 77 to finish in seventh place in the 132-player field. Defending champion Dee Sanders of Columbia finished 22nd at 12-over.

"It was a great tournament," Curry said. "It was such a great venue to host it and great players. Anytime you finish high in this kind of tournament, you know you've done well on a great course against great competition."

To Dalhousie general manager Andy Deiro, the weekend event was just the beginning of big competitions at the golf course, which opened in 2002.

"This was our biggest tournament to date," he said. "It's the first of many."

Dalhousie is scheduled to host the Missouri Four-Ball Championship next year and the Missouri Amateur Championship in 2012.

"The period between 2007 and 2012, we don't have any MGA events scheduled, but that's a gap that hopefully they'll fill by scheduling some tournaments for us."

Dalhousie director of golf Jack Connell remarked on the positive relationship between the golf course and the community.

"It's not just Dalhousie," he said. "It's the entire region. We feel the hospitality, service and opportunities for enjoyment in the community and surrounding areas will be a draw not only to come to the course but to come back, also.

Anytime you can get a major tournament like this, it's good for the region."

MGA Mid-Amateur Championship

Top 20 scores

1. B.J. Curry, 74-70--144; T2. David Johnson, 76-69--145; T2. Richard Gleghorn, 74-71--145; 4. Bryan Johnson, 76-70--146; 5. Ben Godwin, 73-74--147; 6. Brian Haskell, 77-71--148; 7. Tom Barry, 72-77--149; T8. Janszen Ringo, 77-74--151; T8. Steve Groom, 74-77--151; T10. David McDonald, 76-76--152; T10. Mark Korell, 75-77--152; T10. Thomas Martin, 73-79--152; T13. Bob Meeh, 81-72--153; T13. Dustin Ashby, 78-75--153; T15. Antonio Serrano, 78-75--154; T15. Gerald Siemons, 77-77--154; T15. Matt Hines, 77-77--154; T15. Scott Edwards, 77-77--254; T15. Scott Thomas, 76-78--154; T20. Andy Bartholomy, 73-82--155; T20. Mark Norman, 77-78--155

Local scores

4. Bryan Johnson, Cape Girardeau, 76-70--146; T26. Ben Cantrell, Cape, 79-79--158; T26. Jeff Patton, Cape, 76-82--158; T46. Bob Englehart, Jackson, 85-78--163; T63. Jack Pettet, Cape, 86-80--166; 85. Chris Curtis, Mounds, Ill., 86-89--175; 113. Tony Sangchompuphen, Cape, 114-112--226

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