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Smith Bits on top in golf tournament

NATCHEZ — The 18th chapter of the Association of Energy Services Companies hosted its fourth annual AESC Natchez Golf Tournament Monday at Beau Pré Country Club.

And with the exception of gusty winds, the weather for this four-man scramble could not have been any better. It was the second largest turnout for this event as 105 players participated in this year’s tournament.

The Smith Bits-sponsored team of Dave DesOrmeaux, Donnie Bradley, Chad Huckaby and Marc Noel took first place in the championship flight with a round of 14-under-par 58. And the winning team can thank one shot for that.

“We chipped in for eagle on 18,” DesOrmeaux said. “It was windy and the greens were fast.”

“The wind was a factor all day. We drove the ball well. We were on the green on 12,” Huckaby said. “We had one eagle and 12 birdies. We were shooting for 56.”

Second and third places were determined by a scorecard playoff after two teams finished at 13-under-par 59. The Dia Log/Baker Bits-sponsored team of Ben White, Jason Pitts, James Pitts and Mike Ishee took second place. They had an eagle on No. 10 to go with 11 birdies.

“We had some long drives and made some putts,” said White, who is from Shreveport, La. “It was windy and buggy.”

“The conditions were real good. It was a good day for scoring low,” said James Pitts, who is from Laurel. “I’ll definitely play this course again.”

Third place went to the Superior Drillpipe-sponsored team of Jerome Reese, Bubba Bruce, Greg Brooking and Pete Powell.

“Pete and Bubba played really well. The wind made it really hard,” Brooking said. “Scrambles are for hanging out with your pals. We did the best we could, but we (couldn’t) win. We chipped in for eagle on No. 5, the par-5, and No. 12, the par-4. Jerome chipped in on No. 5.”

The shot of the day went to Doug Hobbs of Lafayette, La., who had a hole-in-one on the par-3 16th hole from 144 yards away. He shot the hole-in-one with a 7-iron and won a buggy from Bad Boy Enterprises. It was his third career hole-in-one. Witnesses were his teammates on the Hub City Industries-sponsored team — Bruce Augustine and Ed Ricci, both from Plano, Texas, Kyle Burk of Brookhaven, and Kerry Allen of Mississippi.

“The pin was in the back. The green sloped down, so I barely saw the ball disappear,” Hobbs said. “I think my teammates were happier than I was. I just said, ‘It went in the hole.’ We high-fived and bear-hugged.”

Tournament director David Cothren said he was very pleased with the turnout for this year’s event.

“The oil business seems to be rebounding a bit. We had great weather and the course is in great shape. And, we had a hole-in-one,” Cothren said. “It’s for a good cause. It’s good to network with people in the industry. We give scholarships to children of oilfield industry workers.”

This was the third year the 18th chapter of the AESC gave out scholarships. Five students won local scholarships and one student won a national scholarship.

Anne Rinehart and Austin St. Clair, who each won $1,000 scholarships renewals. As for the new ones, Heather Kelly and Page Stewart each won new $1,000 scholarships and Cameron Horton and Aaron White each won $500 scholarships. Aaron Sandifer won a national scholarship of $1,000.

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