Watkins takes title

Published 1:01 am Monday, October 12, 2009

NATCHEZ — Through all 18 holes, Greg Brooking had no birdies on his scorecard during the final round of the 2009 Seniors and Ladies City Golf Championships Sunday afternoon at the Duncan Park Golf Course.

His final attempt at redemption was a short par putt that would have tied K.G. Watkins for the lead and forced a sudden-death playoff. Instead, he missed the putt and Watkins won the Seniors City Championship (50-59 age division) for the third time in five years.

Watkins shot a final-round 2-over-par 73 to finish with a two-day total of 143 while Brooking fired a disappointing 3-over-par 74 for a two-day score of 144. Watkins said he was stunned that Brooking missed such a short putt.

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“He missed a four- or five-footer on 18. I’m surprised he missed the putt. But I’ll take it,” Watkins said. “I don’t know how it happened. This was probably the most boring round but also the most fun round because I had two birdies.”

Those two birdies, which came on the front nine, helped Watkins overcome a double bogey on the 4th hole. It turned out to be the only two birdies for Watkins, who won the Senior City title in 2005 and 2007.

“I doubled No. 4 and was fortunate enough to have two birdies to negate that. I had too many (birdie) opportunities,” Watkins said. “Greg played tough. It was tit for tat. I hadn’t played the Seniors in quite some time.”

Brooking added that his putter simply let him down and that led him to his birdie-less round. He had bogeys on the 5th, 10th and 18th holes.

“K.G. just outplayed me. We didn’t shoot as well today as we did yesterday,” Brooking said. “K.G. didn’t miss any putts. He made two or three-eight footers coming in. He made his eight-footer on 18.”

Frank Dominick of Jackson, La. finished in third place after a round of 73 to finish with a two-day score of 149.

The Ladies City Championship went to Fran Farmer of Natchez, who had to hold off a hard-charging Mia Taylor. Taylor shot a final-round 80 for a two-day total of 164, but Farmer held on for a one-shot victory after a final-round 82 to finish at 163. Efforts to reach Farmer were unsuccessful.

George Hude of Natchez won the Super Seniors City Championship (60-69 age division) for the first time, but he had to hold off Prem Vidhana to do so.

Hude backed up his opening-round 78 with a final-round 78 to finish at 156, good enough to end up two shots ahead of Vidhana, who finished at 158 after firing a 76 on Sunday.

“Had a couple of birdies on the front. Made a 35-footer on No. 7. That was the turning point in the round for me. I was at 5-over going into No. 7,” Hude said. “I made a birdie on No. 9.”

Vidhana got back in contention after he birdied No. 14 while Hude double-bogeyed the same hole. However, Hude made some clutch putts on No. 17 and No. 18 to hold off Vidhana.

“Today, I didn’t strike the ball good, but I putted good. Just the opposite of (Saturday),” Hude said. “Joe Brumfield, who won this (Super Seniors division) last year, called me last night. He couldn’t defend because of a broken rib. He beast me seven out of 10 times. When I told him I was in the lead, he said, ‘I would be in the lead’.”

Clayton Foster won the Grand Masters City Championship (70+ age division) for the third time in four years as he dethroned defending champ Cornelius Lewis.

Foster shot a final-round 78 for a two-day total of 153 while Lewis struggled and ended up shooting an 81 for a two-day score of 160.

“The front nine I had two bogeys, No. 6 and No. 7, and the rest were pars. The back side, I got in trouble with my driver,” Foster said. “Bogeyed 10 and double-bogeyed 11. With a birdie on 12, I got my game back together. But on 17 and 18, my driver got me in trouble and I bogeyed both holes. I was able to get up and down for pars on some holes, so it ended up being a scrambling round.”