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As summer heats up, golfers hit the greens

With school barely out and golf season well under way, several locals are among the leaders in the Arkansas State Golf Association’s various Player of the Year categories.

The ASGA schedule began in March, but with tournaments for men, women, mid-senior men (40+), senior men (55+), senior women (50+), super senior men (65+), junior boys and girls, there’s something for everyone with events all over the state.

“The ASGA board and committees do a great job of providing opportunities to play golf, whether young or old, man or woman, scratch or bogie player — we’ve got tournaments to fit all skill levels,” said Jay Fox, executive director of the ASGA who on Monday was working as a rules official in Memphis for sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open. “Our dedicated staff is putting in lots of long days, but it is our busy time of the year.”

The ASGA’s Women’s Match Play Championship was set for this week, Tuesday through Friday, at Maumelle Country Club.

The ASGA Stroke Play Championship was shortened to 36 holes by rain last week at Hardscrabble Country Club in Fort Smith. Wes McNulty of White Hall won by seven strokes, carding 67-68—135 for a five-under-par total. Austin Eoff of Benton was second. Kevin Walker of Sherwood tied for 15th with 74-75—149 for the best local finish. Frank Martin of North Little Rock tied for 16th in mid-senior with 84-77—161. Jim Balch of Maumelle tied for 10th in senior with 80-75—155; Clark Fitts of North Little Rock was 14th with 79-78—157. Cecil McGee of Maumelle tied for seventh in super senior with 86-78—164.

Player of the Year standings through May 26 show Walker as the highest-ranked local golfer in the men’s amateur standings. Before the Stroke, he had 89 points for 11th place behind Brice Howard of Hot Springs (207.75). Trey Schaap of North Little Rock had 36 points.

In mid-senior men, John Mazzia of North Little Rock was tied for sixth with 140 points, behind leader Tracy Harris of Little Rock (240). Frank Martin of North Little Rock had 60; Randy Patterson of North Little Rock had 24.

In senior men, Clark Fitts of North Little Rock was second to Ronnie Johnson of Hot Springs, 210-201. Jim Balch of Maumelle had 150 points for fourth; Jim Smith of Sherwood was eighth with 75; Mark Haely of North Little Rock had eight points.

In super senior men, John Mayes, the former Oak Grove football coach who plays out of the Country Club of Arkansas, was tied for seventh with 90 points. Glen Talbert of Sheridan led the list with 390. Other locals included Cecil McGee of Maumelle, 53 points; Gary Parson of Maumelle, 28; and Fred Roberson of North Little Rock, 20.

Cathy Bellus of Cabot leads the senior women’s standings with 121 points. Kathe Parson of Maumelle was third with 70. Nedra Wood of North Little Rock and Mimi Evans of Maumelle were tied for eighth with 40 each.

In junior boys, Ryan Spurlock of Maumelle was tied for eighth with 25 points, behind the leader, Miles Smith of Little Rock, 130. Caleb Kubacak of Maumelle had 16 points; Peyton Herald of Sherwood had 2.4.

Allie Weiner of Maumelle was eighth on the junior girls list with 20 points; Addison Mitchell of Fort Smith led with 140. Hannah Bakalekos of Sherwood had 16.

Julie Oxendine of Russellville was atop the women’s standings with 90 points. No local women were on the list.

Upcoming ASGA events include the Monk Wade Father & Son Championship, one of the most popular events of any golf season, at Hot Springs Country Club June 10-11; the ASGA Junior Boys Stroke Play Championship at Big Creek in Mountain Home June 12-14 and the USGA Public Links Qualifying at Paradise Valley in Fayetteville on June 17.

For more information, contact the ASGA at 455-ASGA (2742) or golf@asga.org or visit www.asga.org.

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