Up & Coming Weekly

September 10, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1164558

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM SEPTEMBER 11-17, 2019 UCW 15 EARL VAUGHAN JR., Senior Staff Writer. COMMENTS? EarlUCWS- ports@gmail.com. 910-364-6638. Toni Blackwell Billy West Gary Robinson back at 152. Owen has finished second for two years in a row. If he has a concern about this year's tour- nament, it's his lack of familiarity with Stryker. "I haven't played Stryker since I was 10 or 12 years old,'' he said. He likes the idea of competing on two differ- ent courses, calling it a tougher test that will see the best players rise to the top. "Two different courses might test different parts of your game and how you can manage around a different golf course,'' he said. "It makes you make adjustments, and usually the better players make those adjustments.'' Owen said he hopes to borrow a page from former champion Billy West, who consistently avoids making bad decisions early in the tour- nament. "You begin conservative and make smart plays,'' Owen said, "not always whipping out your driver and trying to hit the miracle shot. Just kind of plug away being smart, and you'll find a chance to win.'' Gary Robinson, like Owen, hasn't played Stryker recently, going back some 30 years to his college days at Fayetteville State. "I'm not familiar with the grass, but I'm familiar with the layout,'' he said. "Going from Gates Four to Stryker to Gates Four would be more of an ad- justment than playing Stryker the first day.'' He said it could be a challenge for people not familiar with Bermuda grass to make the switch from Stryker to Gates Four. Robinson is normally upbeat about the county championship but said he's only played about four tournaments this year compared to 15 most years. "The hardest thing for me is when you're expected to do well,'' he said. "A lot of times when I'm not expecting things is when I do better.'' Billy West has played amateur golf at the local, state and national level, but the Cumberland County Golf Championship re- mains his annual favorite. "At the gas station the next morning or at work, everybody is con- gratulating you or saying, sorry to see you lost by a couple of shots,'' West said. "I think that's one of the things that makes it special.'' Now 45, West has been playing the CCGC since he was a teenager. He likes the challenge of playing on multiple courses over three days and thinks it produces the best champion. He has played Stryker some but never in a tournament. "It's got some shorter holes,'' he said. "ere are some places where it can be kind of tight off the tee, and you can get into trouble.'' He said there's a definite contrast between this year's two courses. "At Gates Four, they've got larger greens, but they are kind of undu- lating, and they can do a lot with pin place- ments," he said. "With it being in September, hopefully we get a little cooler weather and the greens are a little firmer and faster.'' He added putting and wedge play around the greens will be critical. Women's Championship Toni Blackwell has enjoyed a brilliant high school career for the Cape Fear girls' golf team. With Angelique Seymour not playing in this year's tournament, Blackwell is the top player back from 2018. "I'm looking forward to playing with the dif- ferent women,'' Blackwell said. "I get to learn from them and what they do. They enjoy the game.'' While there are a few holes at Gates Four that can be challenging, Blackwell thinks she'll fare okay this year. "I think I can win,'' she said. "I've got to play one hole at a time and stay focused.'' Dee Dee Jarman thinks the addition of a senior division for women 50 and over is a positive for the tournament that will help draw players. "Women's golf is declining in this region,'' she said. "It's just hard to find women to play golf. Hopefully, this will help the numbers.'' Jarman said her game is not good right now, but she plans to play to support women's golf in the county. "It's all about keeping women involved in the game of golf,'' she said. Patricia Joyce has been playing golf some 50 years she said, and winning also isn't her No. 1 concern. "I play golf for the camaraderie and the fun,'' she said. "I like to compete, but I like the socializing, too, and I think the other women do, too. It's a fun, fun time.'' Joyce thinks the two-day format for women is good because the tournament is limited to the weekend and no one has to take time off from work. She also was glad the holes were shortened at Gates Four. Joyce said she's fairly consistent with her driver and irons but has problems with put- ting. "I'd like to break 90 both days,'' she said. "I think I've got a chance in both divisions.'' Win or lose, Joyce will enjoy the weekend. "It's nice to meet people, see people and maybe make connections you'll play with down the line,'' she said. For more information, call Bill Bowman at 910-391-3859 or visit https://www.cumberland- countygolfclassic.com/. omas Owen Photo credit: Carolinas Golf Association

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - September 10, 2019