ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (August 25, 2020) – The 2020 Alabama Chapter Championship boasted one of the largest fields the Section has seen since the restart from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – over fifty players gathered at the beautiful Willow Point Golf & Country Club on Lake Martin. The Section is excited to continue this trend of facing our new normal and doing so safely with the health and well-being of our Section Members and Associates top of mind.
Round One began at 10:00 a.m. with a shotgun start. Players were met with ideal conditions as overcast skies and calm winds stuck around for most of the day. In the Open Division, Todd Bailey of Rock Creek G.C. had a nearly flawless start to his round making five birdies on the front nine to go out with a 31. He would finish in the same spot with a five-under par round of 67. Meanwhile, Matt Sheppard of Willow Point G & C.C., and Eric Williamson of Shoal Creek, were able to carve out four-under par rounds of 68 to finish one back of Bailey. Jammie Lett (Hoover C.C.) and Curtis Ohrn (FarmLinks G.C.) rounded out the top-five with solid rounds of two-under par 70’s.
In the Senior Division, Life Member Mike Genovese fired a seven-under par round of 65 – he didn’t make a single bogey. Jeff Copeland (RTJ at Oxmoor Valley) filed in with a four-under par round of 68. Life Member Steve Lyles took the lead in the Super Senior Division with an opening round of three-over par 75.
Round Two was met again with overcast skies and a soggy Willow Point from rain bands reaching the property overnight due to Tropical Storm Marco. Nonetheless, the skies cleared for our players once tee times began at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning – the sky remained gray, but the rain stayed away. Todd Bailey got off to a dream start making four birdies on the front nine to turn in four-under par. His playing partners, Williamson and Sheppard were steady as they finished the front nine – both went out in one-under par. As the group made the turn, so too did they inch closer a difficult stretch of golf with gusty winds and Lake Martin looming close on every shot. The group made it to the tricky par-three thirteenth hole, playing about 175 yards to a tucked hole location on a peninsula green surrounded by Lake Martin. Williamson and Sheppard put their shots to within twelve feet of the hole while Bailey flared his just a little too far right and found the lake, leading to a double-bogey. The two-shot swing propelled Williamson to an outright win, making birdies on his last two holes to secure the victory by two shots.
Jordan Debonis (The Ledges) put up an outstanding final round of five-under par 67 to finish in the tied for second place along with Todd Bailey and Matt Sheppard. Rounding out the top-five was Paul McClure (RTJ at Magnolia Grove) and Todd McCorkle (Old Overton Club) who both finished at five-under par for the tournament. Lastly Alex White (Pensacola C.C.), playing in her first Section event, finished alone in seventh place at three-under par for the tournament with a Final Round of three-under par 69.
Mike Genovese ran away with the title in the Senior Division firing a Final Round six-under par 66 winning by twelve shots over John Carney (Riverchase C.C.) and Jeff Copeland. Finally, in the Super Senior division, Steve Lyles finished with a Final Round score of two-under par 70 to beat out Ed Davis (Frank House G.C.) and Chris Rigdon (Trussville C.C.) by six shots.
The Alabama–NW Florida PGA would like to extend its sincerest thank you to PGA Director of Golf, Matt Sheppard, the Willow Point Golf & Country Club staff and Membership for their outstanding service and hospitality.
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.