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Henry wins tournament with minute to spare

June 29, 1998|By LARRY YANOS

Who needs practice?

Greg Henry showed up to the Black Rock Golf Course a minute before his 12:30 p.m. tee time Sunday and promptly birdied four of the first five holes en route to winning the first Black Rock Championship.

The 38-year-old Beaver Creek Country Club member fired a 68 Sunday, including a 33 on the front nine, and claimed the title with a 36-hole total of 143.

Bill Calhoun, also a Beaver Creek Country Club member, carded a 70 Sunday and captured second at 144.

Brian Hanczaryk and Brian Crabtree, who led after Saturday's opening round with scores of 68 and 71, faltered and shared third at 147.

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The remainder of the Championship Flight had Creed Wack at 148; Tim Reeves, 149; Josh Spreng, 150; and Randy Cree, 151.

"That was close," Henry said when discussing his near disqualification from the tournament. "I went to church, and then I headed for the golf course. The guys were waiting on the first tee. I got my clubs out of the car and then went to work."

Despite the lack of practice, Henry started the second round in spectacular fashion with birdies on the first, third, fourth and fifth holes. The steady round included hitting all nine greens in regulation on the back nine.

"The quick start and consistency on the back nine helped my cause," Henry said. "I thought coming in I would need a 67 to win, and I wasn't going to worry about what the other guys were shooting. I just tried to stay focused on my game."

Needless to say, four birdies on the first five holes helped his concentration.

"I was four under after five, and that was a big boost," Henry said. "I also birdied eight and 16 and bogeyed seven and nine. Overall, I was pleased with my putting. I'm not a great putter, but I needed 30 putts today. That's good for me."

Henry says a disaster on the 18th hole Saturday made him even more determined on Sunday.

"I triple bogeyed 18 on Saturday, or else I would have been a lot closer to the lead," Henry said. "I think that helped me bear down even more today. The 67 was the best round I've had in quite awhile. I was determined to stay positive, not dwell on mistakes. I think I'm maturing in that regard."

Henry feels the course played longer Sunday.

"We used the back tees, and it was tougher. But I rose to the challenge," Henry said. "I guess I can go for the grand slam now."

Henry was referring to his goal of winning the Beaver Creek Country Club Invitational on July 11-12, the Washington County Open on Aug. 8-9 and the Washington County Amateur Championship on Sept. 12-13.

Henry has now won six local golf tournaments, including three Washington County Open titles, one Beaver Creek Country Club Invitational crown and one Washington County Amateur Championship.

On Sunday, Calhoun almost forced a playoff but his 15-foot birdie attempt on the 18th hole slid an inch from the cup.

"I thought it was in, but it missed by an inch, maybe less," the 45-year-old Sykesville, Md., resident said. "It was disappointing. A birdie there would have forced a playoff."

Calhoun, too, enjoyed a fast start.

He eagled the par-5 first hole and added birdies on four, 12 and 14. There were also three bogeys: the ninth, 10th and 15th holes.

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