Jamie Locklear, Neal Locklear lead after first day of Kiwanis
by Scott Schlaufman Sports Editor
LUMBERTON — Jamie Locklear and Neal Locklear aren’t strangers to the Kiwanis All-American Golf Tournament, it’s simply their position on the scoreboard that’s new.
The two friends finished the first day of the 36th-annual tournament in first place with a 9-under-par 63 on Saturday at Pinecrest Country Club, the first time the duo has finished day one at the top of the leaderboard.
“I’ve never played in this leading after the first day,” Jamie Locklear said. “I’ve always been a shot or three shots back.”
“It’s a different outlook, but we know we have to go out there and get birdies, so we can’t be relaxing.”
The two lead a nine-team championship flight that includes four teams and two individuals that have won the tournament’s blue blazers previously.
John Haskins and Larry Cloninger, who won the title in 2009, join the two Locklears in the final group after shooting an 8-under 64. Behind them are the teams of Dyrck Fanning and Scott Benton at 65 and Mark Kinlaw and Patrick Smith at 67.
Haskins and Cloninger won their most recent titles as a team in both 2007 and 2008 and have also won separately with different teammates. Kinlaw and Smith won titles together in 2002, 2004 and 2005 and Kinlaw most recently won in 2011 teamed with Jeff Wishart. Defending champions Mark Lassiter and Keith McGirt also shot a 67.
Steve Pippin and Jay Floyd, who won as a team in 2008, both made the top flight. Floyd and Chris Rice shot a 67 and Pippin and Lonail Locklear shot a 68.
For the leading Locklears, some of the key holes were early in the round.
The duo started with a bogey on No. 1, but Jamie kept it under control with a par on No. 2.
“I’m just off the green, I chip it up eight feet and made the putt,” he said. “I feel like that got the momentum going because that could have been crazy being 2-over. Then (Neal) birdies the next hole, so we’re back even.”
The two got to 5-under at the turn and Neal got a key shot, hitting an eagle on No. 15 before the two birdied the next two holes.
Throughout the day, the golfers dealt with rain that was largely constant, but not intrusive. It simply caused the course to play differently than if it was dry, leaving golfers unsure of how the ball would play off the rough.
Because of the conditions, Haskins felt he and Cloninger could shoot for the top of the leaderboard
“I said going in that I don’t think there’s a 62 out there today, but almost with a 63 and that’s good playing,” he said. “We felt like if we could come in at 65 or so, we’d give ourselves a chance and that’s what we did. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
He said the day had its up and downs with a few holes that they felt should have done better on, but hit long putts on other holes to make up for it.
“It was one of those days where we gave some away, but by the same token we got some we shouldn’t have got,” Haskins said.
The defending champions were somewhat disappointed by their score after the first day. McGirt said some of his putts lipped out and the weather caused issues for Lassiter’s shots.
“You hate to be four off the lead going into tomorrow,” McGirt said. “That is a big deficit to overcome, but it’s not impossible. If you get out there and get off to a good start you can easily get right back in it.”
The cutoff for the championship flight, 4-under 68, ended up evading some of the recent Robeson County Champions.
Kyle Covington and partner Tommy Britt missed the championship flight by one stroke at 69. 2013 champion Ryan Bass and Jeff Wishart shot a 2-under 70, as did Phillip Wallwork and Brad Locklear. Ian Locklear and Justin Chavis finished the round at even-par.
All four of those teams are playing in the first flight of Sunday’s final round.
Commentscomments powered by Disqus
Local Gas Prices