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GOLF ROUNDUP | Mabrey wins Maumelle Classic

Matt Mabrey with the winner’s trophy after claiming the Maumelle Classic title. A feat he also accomplished last year. Paul Fimpel
Matt Mabrey with the winner’s trophy after claiming the Maumelle Classic title. A feat he also accomplished last year. Paul Fimpel

Matt Mabrey flirted with the tournament record before setting for a five-stroke win — his second straight — in the Maumelle Classic on Sunday.

Mabrey, a University of Tulsa golfer from Little Rock, successfully defended his 2012 title at Maumelle Country Club, carding 69-66-72—207, nine under par.

Mabrey prevailed by five over his former TU teammate, Chris Worrell (73-69-70—212) and by seven over Alex Hewitt (71-75-68—214) and Jens Talbert (214). Landon Hearnes, a recent Central Arkansas Christian graduated headed to Arkansas State, tied Bryon Shumate of Fort Smith for fifth at 215.

Danny Green holds the tournament record of 205 from 1998.

Club pro Cary Maddox said he would have loved to have seen Mabrey break the mark.

“The weather was perfect for Saturday and Sunday, ideal scoring conditions, I thought,” Maddox said. “Matt got it to minus 11 on Sunday but finished at minus 9.”

Mabrey, who finished third in Monday’s U.S. Amateur qualifying, also at MCC, said the Classic was one of his favorite tournaments.

“It feels like home to me,” he said. “I live in Tulsa now, so when I come back home I feel really welcome at Maumelle. All the members make me feel welcome. It’s a great feeling to be at home playing in front of my family and friends.”

Todd Martin won the mid-senior flight by seven strokes, carding 71-69-74—214, ahead of Bill Burkhalter (75-73-72—220). Stan Lee took the senior flight by one (70-72-70—212) over Ronnie Johnson (71-69-73—213).

Overall, Maddox said the 2013 Classic, with presenting sponsor Metro Appliances, was one of the best.

“We had 140 players, up from 125 in 2011 and 130 in 2010,” he said. “The weather cooperated on Friday and all players completed their round. We were not sure we would get it in after it rained off and on all day.

“Metro Appliances and our other sponsors really allowed us to provide a first-class event for the participants, and our club members really support (the tournament) by volunteering.”

Mabrey, a junior at Tulsa and a Little Rock Catholic alumnus, said Monday while en route back to Tulsa that he was a bit disappointed at coming just three strokes away from qualifying for the Amateur.

“I missed a lot of putts, so I feel like I could’ve qualified, but it’s hard to get one of those two spots,” he said.

Instead, he will be the first alternate at The Country Club of Brookline, Mass., Aug. 12-18.

•••

Several area golfers went deep into last week’s Arkansas State Golf Association Junior Match Play Championships.

Taylor Loeb of Maumelle and Hannah Bakalekos of Sherwood reached the semifinals of the girls tournament. Loeb beat Audrey Pulliam of Little Rock, 3 and 2, and Stephanie Leake of Little Rock, 2-up, before falling to Casey Ott of Conway, the eventual champion, in the semis, 4 and 2.

Bakalekos defeated Christian Elena Barrett of Bearden, 3 and 2; and Peyton Weaver of Benton, the medalist, 2 and 1, before slipping against Kirsten Garner of Hot Springs, the eventual runner-up, 3 and 2.

Caleb Kubacak reached the quarterfinals of the boys tournament. He defeated Mitchell Ford of Little Rock, 4 and 2; Davis Trice of Fayetteville, 4 and 3; and Hayes Bradford of Fayetteville, 5 and 4, to get to the quarters, where he fell to Noah Smith of DeWitt, 5 and 3.

•••

Loeb and Bakalekos were in Jackson, Miss., earlier this week representing Arkansas in the second Southern Junior State Cup at the Country Club of Jackson.

The competition includes four-ball and foursome matches among players from Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Other juniors on the Arkansas team were Ott, Garner, Weaver, Leake, Trice, Carson Roberts and Lincoln Hill of Conway, Peyton Wilhoit of Searcy, Cameron McRae of Little Rock and Mason Adams of Fayetteville.

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