Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Area Notebook

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Area Notebook

Article excerpt

MEMORABLE STRETCH AT PABLO

Four area club professionals had a four-hole stretch none will ever forget in the Northern Chapter PGA Pro-Pro Championship last week at the Pablo Creek Club.

All was routine for the first 12 holes -- meaning the teams of Jim Lear and David Glynn of the Champions Club of Julington Creek; and Boots Farley of the Jacksonville Beach Golf Club and Greg Bacon of the Palatka Golf Club were out of contention and playing only for the skins money and a few side bets.

At the 430-yard, par-4 13th hole, Farley hit his drive down the middle and had 185 yards to the hole, while Lear was on the fairway, but on the left side, with 200 yards in. Needing to hit a high draw to avoid tree branches and to make it to a front-left pin, Lear whacked a utility iron. The ball drew in and hit the pin, making a sound, he said, that was so loud it echoed.

"You could hear it back in the fairway," Lear said. "It looked like it might have gone in, but we couldn't tell for sure."

Farley then took a 4-iron and jokingly told Lear: "I'm taking that skin away from you." He then hit a shot that went up hot and also hit the pin. Again, none of the players could tell if the shot was in the hole.

They quickly found out both balls were in the cup for eagle-2s on the par-4 hole. Because Farley amazingly matched Lear's feat, Lear lost about $500 in skins money, said Pablo Creek head professional Richie Bryant.

Lear didn't seem to mind.

"We were walking to the green and I kept looking around, thinking there had to be a ball in the rough somewhere," Lear said. "I never thought both balls would be in the hole."

But the group wasn't done yet. At the par-4 14th hole, Bacon hit his second into a bunker, then blasted out and into the hole for a birdie. At the par-3 15th, Farley made a 15-footer for birdie. And finally, at the par-4 16th, Bacon hit his second shot over the green and chipped in for birdie, meaning the foursome's best ball was 2-3-3-3 for four holes.

It was a bit too late. Gary Murfitt of Hyde Park and Mike Benjamin of Fernandina Beach won the championship with a 61 in the morning captain's choice format, and 67 in the afternoon best-ball, for a 128. …

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