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41st Maumelle Classic set for this week

The 41st Maumelle Classic, considered one of the majors on the Arkansas State Golf Association circuit, is set for this week at Maumelle Country Club.

Matt Mabrey of Little Rock, who has won the last two Classics, recently completed his eligibility at Tulsa and is not on the entry list to seek a third green jacket.

The tournament is presented by Metro Appliances and More.

Danny Green of Memphis holds the tournament record of 205 from 1998. Mabrey, who finished his eligibility at Tulsa this year, flirted with that in 2013 before settling for 69-66-72—207, nine under par, to win by five strokes.

At press time, the field for the 54-hole tournament, to run Friday through Sunday at Maumelle Country Club, included 87 golfers in open, mid-senior (age 40+), senior (55+) and super-senior (65+) divisions.

The field will be cut to about one-third after 36 holes.

“The field is shaping up well with several past champions, such as Luke Bakke and Stan Lee,” Maumelle Country Club professional Cary Maddox said Monday. “We have extended the deadline until Tuesday to get a few more entries.

The list of former champions is impressive. Green and Doug Farr of Louisiana and are the only three-time winners. Two-time champs include Mabrey, Patrick Sullivan, Barry Hamilton, Ed Harris, Tim Jackson and Ron Richard. Other winners are Chris Jenkins, David Apperson, John Daly, Jay Fullerton, Stetson McMillan, A.J. Kroeger, Stan Lee, Ken Moore, Wyn Norwood, Bryon Shumate, Nick Benton, Pat Pinson, Scott Sills, Mike Smith, Allan Thomas, Luke Bakke, Neal Westbrook and Alex Carpenter.

Bakke, now of Seattle, and Shumate, of Fort Smith, have entered. Richard and Lee are entered in the senior division. Others to watch include Landon Hearnes of Mayflower, a former Central Arkansas Christian golfer now at Arkansas State; Trey Schaap of North Little Rock, among the leaders for the ASGA’s Player of the Year race; and Tracy Harris of Little Rock, who leads the Mid-Senior Player of the Year standings, in the mid-senior group;

Bill Jett, tournament chair, wrote to potential participants of the committee’s goal “for the Classic to continue to expand as a premier amateur tournament in the South.”

“In late 2008, we converted our greens to the outstanding Champion Bermuda, and they have grown in strong as ever,” Jett wrote. “They are providing the smoothest putting surface you have ever played. With this thought in mind, we have invited top amateurs of the states contiguous to Arkansas. …

“The combination of a championship golf course and Champion Bermuda greens with championship caliber players will lead to another great tournament this year.”

Maumelle Country Club is a frequent site of ASGA state tournaments and was host to satellite PGA events in 1987 and a TPA tournament in 1988.

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