New faces win Olds qualifier

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 2, 2000

Randy Johnson, Chris Hutchins, Chris Kelly and Bill Byrne are familiar faces around the Natchez golf scene. But none of the foursome has ever been a part of a winning Oldsmobile Scramble qualifying team. Until Saturday at Beau Pr\u00E9 Country Club that is. The foursome shot a 12-under-par 60 for a two-stroke win over three teams at the qualifing tournament. The team advances to the Oldsmobile Sectional Tournament, which will be held Beau Pr\u00E9 Aug. 14. The winners there advance to the nationals in Las Vegas.

&uot;That’s kind of a neat deal,&uot; said Beau Pr\u00E9 Country Country Club Golf Pro Mark Powell, who has been part of a Natchez team which advanced to the nationals. &uot;A lot of other teams that have been there were out there, but couldn’t get it done. They had a real good score, which kind of surprised me because the holes were set up pretty tough. But they played real good.&uot;

Johnson, Hutchins, Kelly and Byrne had five birdies on the front nine and seven straight birdies from the 12th to the 18th on the back nine.

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&uot;I thought our team came up big,&uot; Byrne said. &uot;We played the front nine steady and then got a birdie putt on No. 10 and parred 11. We birdied the last seven holes. Everybody really stepped up.&uot;

Byrne said he and his teammates are ecstatic about winning the tournament for the first time.

&uot;Especially with the next stop being here at Beau Pr\u00E9,&uot; he said. &uot;That should be a good advantage for us. I think we have a good chance to win it.&uot;

The three teams that finished two shots back were: Paul Sparks, Hayden Kaiser, Chad Huber and Adrian Sandel; Art Eidt, Robbie Savant, Gary Farmer and Joe Dallalio; and Jay Lessley, B.J. Guido, Jim Willard and Tom Graning.

&uot;Usually a 10-under is a good score, but those guys played great,&uot; Sandel said. &uot;My teammates played good, but I didn’t help out a whole lot.&uot;

Sandel said he figured 12-under would be a winning score.

&uot;That was the winning score at Belwood last year,&uot; Sandel said. &uot;We didn’t make a lot of birdies on the back side and that’s what it takes. They finished with a lot of steam.&uot;

Even though his team finished two strokes out, Sandel still enjoyed the outing.

&uot;It was still a lot of fun,&uot; he said. &uot;This is a great golf course. Beau Pr\u00E9 is in great shape. I wish we could have done a little better, but those guys played real well.&uot;

The team of Bill Lambert, Billy Risher, Keith Jackson and Alan Coley finished in fifth place with a 63.

Three teams tied for sixth place with a 65: Rob Smith, Mark Mason, Tom Geoghegan and Baxter Lee; Paul Byrne, Phil Hale, Jerry Lambuth and Johnny Christian; and Kevin Smith, Charles Johnson, Sammy Gore and David Heard.

The team of Robin Punches, Hal Hicks, Bob Latham and Mike Henry had a 66 to finish in ninth place.

Billy Gillon, Bill Campbell, Earl Hunt and Lane Waites had a 70 to finish in tenth place.