LUMBERTON — During the 2015 Kiwanis All-American golf tournament at Pinecrest Country Club, Brad Locklear proclaimed himself as the “baddest man on the planet.”
Brad and his teammate — Lonail Locklear — proceeded to win that event.
On Sunday, with a convincing victory in the championship division of the Robeson County Golf Championship, Locklear stood beneath the leaderboard at Pinecrest Country Club and reminded everyone of his bold proclamation in 2015.
“Guys, I enjoyed it. … (I’m) still the baddest man on the planet,” Locklear said with a smile.
Dwight Gane, the head professional at Pinecrest, wouldn’t go that far but he was impressed with Locklear’s play throughout the 54-hole event.
“He might not be the baddest man on the planet, but he was the baddest man on this golf course this week,” Gane said.
There was no denying the latter.
Locklear cruised en route to earning his second county title with scores of 69, 68 and 69 to finish at 10 under 206 for a nine-shot victory. The 2012 county champion was 3 under over his final nine holes, rolling in birdies on Nos. 11 and 15 before capping his wire-to-wire win with a kick-in birdie on the par-4 18th.
“The first one took a lot of heart. This one was a little bit easier than my first title,” he said. “Still, anytime you get a chance to compete with some of the golfers we got in this county, you have to do it. Coming into the day, I felt good. I’m just glad to have another one.”
While Locklear was confident in his ability to seal the deal on Sunday afternoon, he admitted there were some nerves ahead of the final round.
“The first two days, the nerves didn’t really hit me. The reality set in (Saturday) night that I was in control with a chance to win another (title). I knew if I could get three rounds in the 60s, I’d be OK.”
After starting with a bogey on the par-4 opening hole, Locklear bounced back with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 2 and 3 to ease the tension. He carded his final bogey of the round on the par-5 sixth hole to make the turn at even par before widening his margin on the back nine.
Scott Benton finished in second place at 1 under, with Dyrck Fanning and defending champion Steve Pippin tying for third at 1 over. The top finishers automatically qualify for October’s Highlander Cup event against Cumberland County.
For Locklear, who is set to captain the county’s Highlander Cup team, the next step is playing in other tournaments around the region with dreams of pursuing a professional golf career.
“I’d like to try to play some mini-tour events. Everybody knows I’d love to give it a shot,” he said. “I’m going to try to play some tournaments away from here and see where I stand in the world of golf.”
And as for his claim as the “baddest man on the planet,” Locklear teased the possibility of starting his own brand.
“I had the logo drawn up. I’m actually thinking about it,” he said with a laugh. “I want to come up with a hat, maybe a few shirts and some shorts. I guess we’ll see.”
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-4165-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.