The Meridian Star
Retired Meridian native Joe Stewart is used to filling out the number 71 when asked about his age. What he is not used to is filling out that number on his golf scorecard. Sunday, March 12, Stewart got that opportunity, as he shot his age at Northwood Country Club.
Stewart, who was playing with friends Robert Bailey, Bo Bailey, Poo Chancellor and Kim McDonald, overcame a windy afternoon to accomplish the rare feat.
“It was the first and only time I've ever done it,” Stewart said. “I've had lower rounds, but that was when I was younger. It was just a good day of golf.”
Stewart began the day on the 10th hole, getting off to a solid start by shooting one over par on the back half.
After earning a birdie on the fifth hole, Stewart evened out at par, and the thoughts of shooting his age began to creep in his mind. He was close, but the course's toughest holes were still ahead of him.
Stewart went on to par the tricky sixth hole as well as the following seventh and eighth holes. If he shot par on the ninth hole, he'd finish the day at the elusive 71.
Still trying to block out thoughts of excitement, Stewart lined up and drove the ball. As he watched the ball in the air, something seemed wrong. The ball appeared to be headed out out of bounds, undoubtably ruining his shot at par. However, Stewart's shot landed 12 feet from the boundary, keeping his hopes alive and allowing him to recover two strokes later to earn par.
“I was concerned a little bit, but I tried not to think about it,” Stewart said. “There was quite a bit of kidding, and after the round everyone congratulated me.”
Stewart, who plays with an 11-stroke handicap, said he hopes reaching the accomplishment is something he will continue to do in the future. After all, Stewart joked, the older he gets the easier it will be.
“I think I will do it again,” Stewart said. “I might have to get a little older before it happens again though.”