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Clay outlasts Gasperini for HCC championship

South Boston News
From left, winners of the championship flight in Halifax Country Club’s golf tournament. Jimmy Clay, first, Peter Gasperini, second, Raleigh Powell, third, Jay Burnett, fourth, and Willoughby Gasperini, fifth. / August 13, 2020
Jimmy Clay shot a 66 on Saturday and sank three birdies on the back-nine Sunday to win Halifax Country Club’s two-day medal, annual golf tournament with a score of 131.

Clay’s Championship Flight, Open Division, win didn’t come without a challenge. South Boston native and VCU golfer, Peter Gasperini, and Clay were tied 66-66 at the end of day one and in fact tied through No. 14 on Sunday. Clay was able to birdie holes 15, 16, and 18 to earn the victory and bragging rights for a year.

HCC member William “WJ” Long said the tournament was a great success for the participants and the spectators. He said in his 50-years of going to and playing at HCC, since the age of four, he couldn’t remember seeing a crowd that large for the tournament.

“I’ve never seen a crowd that big at a tournament,” long said. “It was probably the strongest field we’ve had in a long time.”

Former PGA and collegiate player Bruce Stone, who won the First Flight with a 147, was one of several golfers that brought a solid game to the links. Long said a good amount of the participants came with zero-handicap cards, as well as some playing just above zero.

Long said a lot of people wanted to see Clay and Gasperini go against each other. Noting Clay is known as one of the best golfers in the area and Gasperini has state-wide appeal.

“Jimmy has been the best player in the county for a long time,” Long said. “Peter is probably half his (Clay’s) age and is well known throughout the state.

“So I know a lot of people came out to see them play against each other. Peter had his chances to keep pace, but his putter went cold.”

Hot on the heels of Clay and Gasperini was third-place finisher Raleigh Powell. Posted posted a score of 136, after shooting a 68 on Saturday and Sunday

Jay Burnett who totaled 142 with a 70 and 72 and Willoughby Gasperini with a 143 (72 and 71) round out the top-five.

The Championship Flight had some very strong competitors with Richard Harrell shooting a two-day total 144; James Lewis and Kelly Chappel stroking out 145’s; Kelly Puryear with a 146; Drew Lewis shot a 148 and Joey Gasperini finished with a 153.

First Flight Winners:

Stone’s 147 earned first place. Chris Coleman shot a 149 (75-74) to take second place honors.

Third place went to Brad Thomasson, earning a 151 (75-76). In fourth place was Kwang Kim shooting a 151 (75-76). Also posting a score of 151 (80-71) Brad Mele took fifth.

Senior Division Winners:

After being down by two strokes at the end of Saturday competition 74-72 to Mike Hailey, Nookie Green staged the comeback on Sunday to take a one-stroke 146-146 over Hailey. Green shot a 71 on Sunday, while Hailey posted a Sunday score of 74.

Taking third place for the seniors was Donnie Hughes who turned in a 155 (79-76). Teddy Holt’s 157 (76-81) earned a fourth place; Jerry Burnett placed fifth with a 159 (80-79).

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