A Champion in Hoover
By Hayden Lewis, PGA / Tuesday, May 11, 2021
HOOVER, Ala. (May 11, 2021) – The 2021 Alabama Chapter Championship presented by TaylorMade Golf was contested at Hoover Country Club Monday and Tuesday. A total of forty-one players were tested at the windy, traditional layout presented by one of the oldest clubs in our Section – narrow fairways and tricky greens wind their way through the hills and valleys of the Bluff Park neighborhood in Hoover. On Tuesday evening into Wednesday before the tournament, the Birmingham area received an incredible eight inches of rain – some concentrated areas seeing much higher amounts, especially in low-lying areas. “There was definitely a question as to whether we would be able to host this event,” says Tournament Director, Wade Dockery. “Our thanks to Jake Spott and his staff, as well as the grounds crew at Hoover Country Club, for preparing an incredible venue for our Alabama Chapter Championship – it’s a testament to their dedication after the amount of rain we received just a few days ago.”
Monday was greeted with overcast skies and a damp golf course from overnight rain showers. The players began their round with a shotgun start at 12:00 p.m. to allow the grounds crew to adequately prepare the golf course. In the Open Division, Section Member Todd Bailey was able to hold steady for most of his round making four birdies and two bogies. This was good enough for the first-round lead over Chris Burley (Cider Ridge G.C.) and Curtis Ohrn (FarmLinks G.C.) by two shots. Falling in closely behind were Ron Stromeyer (Pine Tree C.C.) and Noah Miller (Valley Hill C.C.) with rounds of 73. In the Senior Division, Life Member Mike Genovese fired a three-under-par round of 69 putting him one shot ahead of Jeff Copeland (Thompson Golf Academy) and two shots ahead of John Carney (Riverchase C.C.). Finally, Life Member Allen Austin led the Super Senior Division after an opening round of 77. This would put him one shot clear of Life Member Carl Pedersen and two shots clear of Ed Davis (Frank House G.C.).
Monday evening, Brandt Kittredge, PGA and TaylorMade Golf hosted a small fitting and education clinic for tournament participants. Players were able to take a look at some of the brand new TaylorMade gear and learn more about all the intricacies surrounding club fitting. “With this new influx of demand for golf-related purchases, it’s so important PGA Professionals are prepared to take on this new challenge,” says Kittredge, a Lead Sales Representative for TaylorMade Golf. “At the end of the day, it’s an industry-wide challenge we are facing as we see more and more people coming to the game. As someone who used to stand on the other side of the counter, it’s an honor to be working alongside the PGA Members in the Alabama–NW Florida Section and help them make the game more enjoyable for others.”
The Final Round was met with more gray skies and wet weather. Tee times began at 7:30 a.m. with the Super Senior Division, followed by the Senior and then Open Divisions. Rain showers again swept over the property as play began, creating even tougher conditions on the already-saturated grounds. In the Super Senior Division, Ed Davis got off to a hot start making birdies on four holes on his front nine. He gave a few shots back to the field on the back and posted a two-over-par 74. First Round Leader, Allen Austin struggled early shooting a 6-over-par 42 on his front nine and was not able to recover on the back nine posting a Final Round score of 80. Ed Davis would take the Super Senior Title with a winning score of nine-over-par, 153 – winning by two shots over Carl Pedersen. In the Senior Division, Mike Genovese sprinted away from the field making only one bogey, six birdies and an eagle during his Final Round. He finished at ten-under-par, 134 and six shots clear of Jeff Copeland.
In the Open Division, Todd Bailey got off to another solid start on his front nine posting a one-under-par 35 to make the turn. Todd McCorkle (Old Overton Club) made a run at Bailey shooting a three-under-par 33 on his front nine. He would make three more birdies and one bogey on the back-nine adding pressure to Bailey, who made only two birdies and one bogey on his back-nine. Bailey stepped onto the par-three seventeenth hole and ended up making a bogey which gave him a one-shot lead over McCorkle coming down the par-five eighteenth. Bailey ripped a drive down the middle of the fairway and laid up to about 70 yards for his third shot. The hole was perched at the very back of the two-tiered, kidney-shaped green surrounded by water to the left. Bailey hit a crisp wedge shot that landed into the slope and spun back to about fifty feet – leaving him with a tricky two-putt for par and the victory. He lagged his first putt to about five feet and drained the tricky putt for his par and the title to avoid a playoff with McCorkle. Rounding out the top five in the Open Division were Noah Miller finishing alone in third place with a Final Round of 72, and Paxton Tidwell (Willow Point G & C.C.) with an impressive round of four-under-par 68. Henry Westmoreland, PGA Associate at Pensacola C.C., tied with Tidwell for fourth place with a solid round of two-under-par 70.
The Alabama Chapter of the Alabama–NW Florida Section would like to thank Jake Spott, PGA Head Golf Professional and his staff for an incredible two days at Hoover Country Club. Additionally, a big thank you to Brandt Kittredge, PGA and TaylorMade Golf for their support of PGA Professionals’ careers in our Section. The next event on the Section schedule comes on May 24 at Mountain Brook Club for the HMG Stroke Play Series Event No. 2.
Media Contact: Hayden Lewis, PGA | firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE ALABAMA–NW FLORIDA PGA
The Alabama – NW Florida PGA is one of 41 Sections that make up the PGA of America. Our Section is headquartered in the Birmingham suburb of Pelham, Alabama at Ballantrae Golf Club. Established in 1969, the Section consists of over 400 Members and Associates in the state of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Section exists to support its Members who are the driving force to growing the sport and business of golf.
ABOUT TAYLORMADE GOLF
Since the creation of the first metal wood in 1979, the TaylorMade Golf Company has established a legacy of breaking from tradition to reach new thresholds of performance. Driven to lead the industry in product innovation, TaylorMade is committed to exploring new frontiers, pushing the limits of product manufacturing, and constantly pursuing the next great breakthrough in golf.