The Sampson County branch of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol held its 18th annual golf tournament this past Wednesday at Lakewood Country Club in Salemburg. Organizers say that this year’s event was the largest so far as a total of 96 golfers — 24 teams — took to the course for the annual competition.
The format for this year’s tournament was 4-person superball, each team being pre-flighted based on handicap before the start of the match with a total of four flights in all.
The setup of the tournament allowed participants to enjoy a morning of 18-hole match play, followed by a lunch and awards ceremony, then an optional 9-hole tournament in the afternoon.
With four flights, there were four first-place finishers. Winners of the first flight were the team consisting of Jimmy Raynor, Kenny Parker, Larry Baggett, and Ben Parham with a score of 57.
Winners of the second flight were J. Nethercutt, D. Walters, K. Randleman, and J. Eason with a score of 56. A score of 63 earned the team of A. Raynor, G. Raynor, Z. Raynor, and B. Riddle first place honors in the third flight. Finally, the fourth flight winners were B. Johnson, R. Reavis, J. Pointer and S. Pointer with a score of 60.
In the afternoon 9-hole tournament, Blake Bartlett, Larry Baggett, Ben Parham and Vernon Davis took first place on the back-nine tournament with a score of 30, and winners of the first-nine tournament with a score of 32 was Trey Apperson, Charles Byrd, Ricky Blackmon and Kevin Weeks/John Lamm.
Lakewood County Club Director of Golf Operations Curt Pritchard proudly stated that it was an honor for his golf course to be the host of the tournament, especially considering his family history of law enforcement.
“Having a father who was involved in law enforcement for 32 years, I understand the sacrifices these awesome men and women have to make, as well as their families, to make this country great,” Pritchard began.
“It was an honor hosting the State Highway Patrol at Lakewood. Their purpose to raise money for local scholarships and to help less fortunate children at Christmas time is, in my opinion, world class,” he concluded.
All proceeds from the tournament, including money received from generous sponsors and donations, are certainly put to good use. The first objective of the money raised is used as scholarship money for individuals who will be attending Sampson Community College. One member of each county school’s graduating class will received a $1,000 scholarship to the college.
The 2017 recipients are: Mary Deanna Davidson of Lakewood; Jeffery Will Langston at Hobbton; Jackson Dwight Avery at Clinton; Morgan Paige Gentry at Midway; and Gabriella Mandujano at Union.
Having raised around $10,000 at the tournament, that means another $5,000 will be available in the Highway Patrol’s Christmas fund. That fund is used to provide Christmas for local less fortunate families and children.
First Sgt. David Kinlaw expressed his sincere gratitude to everyone that had a hand in making the fundraiser a huge success.
“It was a pleasant day for a golf tournament. The weather was overcast and cool and there was no wind, which the golfers certainly appreciated,” he said. “I want to thank all the players for coming out and participating, our wonderful and our generous donors for being hole sponsors and donating door prizes as well as ice and drinks.”
Noteworthy sponsors of the event were Spell’s Mechanical Services, Horne Brothers Construction, Sandy’s Hauling, Transformer Maintenance Services, Prestage Farms, Star Telephone, McDonald’s of Clinton, Kivett’s Inc. in Clinton, and many more.
Kinlaw also spoke of the gratification one gets when seeing the money raised put to good use, speaking on the reactions of the children at Christmas.
“When you see it — the looks on the faces of the children — it makes it all worth it,” he said.
“We’re already looking forward to next year and hope that all of our players and sponsors will back again to make next year another huge success,” Kinlaw concluded.
Reach Daron Barefoot at email@example.com.