Palmer flight winners Eric Ridout and David Rosenbaum both made key putts Sunday afternoon in the Bill Davis Northwood Invitational to win the tournament’s shootout.
Paired against winners from the three-day event’s seven other flights for a match play, sudden death shootout, Rosenbaum sank a putt to birdie hole No. 1, making them one of just two teams not to be eliminated on the opening hole. Eric Stubbs, who won the Woods flight with partner Ed Brown, hit a chip shot for birdie, setting up a showdown between them and the Ridout/Rosenbaum duo on the second hole.
Ridout’s tee shot landed on the green and set him up for the decisive putt, which he sank to make he and Rosenbaum shootout winners.
“After that amazing up-and-down by my partner, it was pretty easy,” Ridout said. “It was pretty straight, and it just fell right on the right edge.”
Rosenbaum’s putt on No. 1 came after Stubbs’ chip shot for birdie, putting extra pressure on him to keep he and Ridout’s hopes alive. It didn’t help that Rosenbaum had previously struggled on No. 1, either.
“It’s been a tough hole for me all week,” Rosenbaum admitted. “I think I made one par all week, but I had a great drive down the right center to get it about 12 feet (out). The guy in front of me chipped it in, so I knew I had to make it, and we looked at it, picked a good line and just hit a good, firm putt, and it went right in the middle.”
Both said winning the shootout was a nice way to cap off winning the Palmer flight.
“It feels really good,” Ridout said.
Said Rosenbaum, “It’s pretty awesome. I hope he’ll play with me again.”
WEDDINGTON/RAY WIN AGAIN
Following a victory in the Weddington-Lewis Memorial Day Tournament, Alex Weddington and David Ray carried the momentum with them to win the championship Nicklaus flight with 28 1/2 points Sunday.
The two edged last year’s Bill Davis winners, Judge Little and Doyle Bryan, by 2 1/2 points in the tournament’s round-robin, fourball match play format.
“Our goal was to not have a bogey, and we didn’t,” Weddington said. “I had a good partner.”
The two were teammates at Ole Miss, and Weddington is the son of H.G. Weddington, after whom the Memorial Day tournament was named. They’ve been golfing together so long that teaming up feels natural.
“He’ll be 66, and I’m 67, so it gets a little harder,” Weddington said. “David Ray hits it straight and is a great putter, and that’s what you need in a tournament like this.”
Coming off a victory in the Memorial Day tournament, Weddington said the momentum carried over this weekend.
“When we teed off, we said we’d like to win two in a row, and we were very fortunate,” Weddington said. “David is one of the best people you can have for a partner, so it worked out great for me. I don’t know if (winning two in a row) will ever happen again, especially at my age, but it feels great.”
Weddington said the course was in great shape this weekend and complimented green superintendent Brett Pollock, pro Tyler Daniels and golf GM Billy Pomeroy on the work they did getting it ready.
Northwood’s three major tournaments often draw Meridian natives who have since moved hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
Sean Covich grew up in Meridian and is currently the head men’s golf coach at West Virginia University. Dan Cook came from Texas to visit his hometown this past weekend, and Cal Watson returned home all the way from California. J.T. Williamson, who now lives in Houston, said since having children, he hasn’t been able to get back to Meridian as often, but he was grateful for the opportunity to compete in the Bill Davis tournament over the holiday weekend.
“I try to get back every couple of years, and it was great to get to see everyone,” Williamson said. “This course, it’s the best value in the Southeast. It’s a wonderful course, and there are great people (who play here). Not much has changed — it’s a wonderful place.”
This was Williamson’s first Bill Davis tournament under the new four-ball match play format, which was introduced last year. The tournament was also reduced from four days to three days when the change was made.
“It’s different, but we’re having a great time,” Williamson said.
HOLE IN ONE
Friday’s qualifying round brought some excitement for the Little/Bryan team, as Little had a hole in one on No. 13.
Little said it was the seventh time he’s made a hole in one in his life, and he couldn’t recall the last time he had done it.
“I don’t play a whole lot anymore, so I don’t remember, but I think it was on 17 here at Northwood,” Little said. “It was really neat. We saw it hit the pin and sort of drop, so we had a lot of fun with it.”
Bryan has partnered with Little many times but said this was actually his first time to see Little hit a hole in one.
“We were just out there having fun, and he hit a great shot that went straight in the hole,” Bryan said. “It never left the flag, and never hopped or anything. Just straight in the cup. It was fun. It gives everyone in the group a rush, and there’s a lot of hooting, hollering and high-fiving going on.”
True to his laid-back nature, Little didn’t make a big deal out of acing No. 13, Bryan said.
“All he did was a few fist bumps, but that was it,” Bryan said with a chuckle.