...Carolina Golf News Line                          Columbia country club golf hole


Columbia, S.C. – Lee Stroever of Jupiter, FL survived Mother Nature and difficult final-round hole locations to capture the third annual Columbia Open at Columbia Country Club on Thursday 

            Stroever began the final round tied for second with Kyle Dobbs and trailing overnight leader Joel Hendry by one shot. The lead would change hands a few times during the opening nine, but after nine holes, Hendry had re-gained the lead and managed to play solid under drizzly conditions that would gradually turn worse.

            Mother Nature has a way of making average golf look extraordinary, and that was certainly the case on Columbia Country Club’s back nine. While Hendry and Dobbs carded early bogeys on the backside, Stroever marched along to the drummer known as par and made up quick ground with a birdie at the par-4 13th as early drizzle began to turn to steady rain. A late bogey at the par-4 16th for Hendry, coupled with birdies at Nos. 15-16 for Dobbs, left it to be a two-horse race between the par-grinding Stroever and Dobbs over the last two holes.

            Dobbs, hitting with the honor, failed to exert any pressure with a pulled tee shot that wound up left of the green on the tricky par-3 17th. Stroever managed, as he had for most of the day, to play a safe shot, which found the fringe and in turn converted the easy par. Dobbs was left with a 20-foot par putt to stay tied for the lead heading to the last. When the West Palm Beach, FL resident missed it, Stroever was left with the one-shot advantage he had been eyeing all day. A simple two-putt par at the 18th gave Stroever a final-round 70, a 54-hole total of 11-under-par 205, and the win. Most players who see their name on a check for $15,000 credit their short game, and Stroever was certainly no different.

            "I think the key to winning this tournament was my short game. I didn't always hit it well, but my chipping and putting were awesome all week," said the former Rollins College star, who had more to his story than most realized.

            The irony of Stroever’s win is that he felt lucky to even be playing golf. He was forced to take a year off from the game due to ligament damage in his hand, and has only been playing competitive golf again for the past year.

            "This win really means a lot to me. I have a lot of good finishes but not a lot of wins. To win after my doctor told me that I would never play tournament golf again is huge for me. It's especially huge to win when Q-School is right around the corner."

            Dobbs collected the $9,000 check for solo second, while Hendry held off Chad Wilfong and David Ladd to claim solo third.

            Dobbs, a veteran mini-tour player who had already banked in excess of $100K this year on various tours, seemed to enjoy his first visit to the Tarheel Tour.

            "I'm so glad I came here. I heard so many great things about this tour and this golf course and they were all true.”

            The round of the day came from Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey. The Golf Channel’s Big Break star made the cut on the number, but quickly came back to form with a six-under 66 on Thursday to vault from T43 to T9 and collect $2,300 for his efforts. Gainey was one of only five players to break 70 in the final round.

            The big winner this week, aside from Stroever, was Columbia Country Club and the combination of the Tall Pines and Ridgewood nines. The Ellis Maples-designed layout has certainly stood the test of time and challenged the best players this week in all aspects of their games. The sign of a great course is subtle difficulties and Columbia Country Club presents that as players have every hole laid out right in front of them, yet still scratch their heads after each bogey.

            The Tarheel Tour would like to thank head professional Chris Sparrow and his staff for being gracious hosts for the second year in a row. The tour would also like to thank golf course superintendent Jeff Connell and his staff for providing the tour with an immaculately conditioned golf course for the second year in a row. The Tarheel Tour would also like to give a special thanks to all of the Columbia Country Club members who volunteered to help run the event, especially Carol Stone who went above and beyond the call of duty for the tour this week. The Tarheel Tour will be back in action next week at the Country Club of Salisbury for the Salisbury Classic, October 10-12. 

Columbia Open

Columbia C.C. (Ridgewood/Tall Pines)

Columbia, S.C.

Final Round Results

Par-72; 7,150 yards 

1. Lee Stroever, Jupiter, FL, $15,000.00, *69-66-70-205 -11

2. Kyle Dobbs, West Palm Beach, FL, $9,000.00, *71-64-71-206 -10

3. Joel Hendry, Hilton Head Island, SC, $5,000.00, *69-65-73-207 -9

4. Chad Wilfong, Thomasville, NC, $3,900.00, *70-69-69-208 -8

4. David Ladd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, $3,900.00, *67-70-71-208 -8

6. Dane Burkhart, Aiken, SC, $3,300.00, *74-66-69-209 -7

7. Steve Gilley, Newman, GA, $2,800.00, *72-68-70-210 -6

7. David Robinson, Sandersville, GA, $2,800.00, *71-68-71-210 -6

9. Tommy Gainey, Bishopville, SC, $2,300.00, *72-73-66-211 -5

9. Johan Kok, Peachtree City, GA, $2,300.00, *71-70-70-211 -5

11. Kevin Kisner, Aiken, SC, $1,862.50, *71-72-69-212 -4

11. Matt Bettencourt, Modesto, CA, $1,862.50, *69-73-70-212 -4

11. William McGirt, Taylors, SC, $1,862.50, *71-70-71-212 -4

11. Bruce McDonald, Mt. Pleasant, SC, $1,862.50, *71-68-73-212 -4

15. Roberto Castro, Alpharetta, GA, $1,625.00, *69-75-69-213 -3

15. Jesse Hutchins, Kirkersville, OH, $1,625.00, *69-74-70-213 -3

15. Bjorn Widerstedt, St. Augustine, FL, $1,625.00, *69-70-74-213 -3

15. Garry Hill, Raleigh, NC, $1,625.00, *70-68-75-213 -3

19. Kenny Coakley, Bluffton, SC, $1,333.33, *76-68-70-214 -2

19. Scott Stallings, Oakridge, TN, $1,333.33, *72-71-71-214 -2

19. Scott Usher, Bennettsville, SC, $1,333.33, *71-70-73-214 -2

19. Brendon Todd, Atlanta, GA, $1,333.33, *73-68-73-214 -2

19. Scott Brown, N. Augusta, SC, $1,333.33, *71-69-74-214 -2

19. Stephen Poole Jr., Greer, SC, $1,333.33, *68-72-74-214 -2

19. Stephen Woodard, Charlotte, NC, $1,333.33, *69-72-73-214 -2

19. Chris Yoder, Winston-Salem, NC, $1,333.33, *70-70-74-214 -2

19. Gregg Jones, Florence, SC, $1,333.33, *71-68-75-214 -2

28. Richard Hanna, Standardsville, VA, $1,150.00, *75-69-71-215 -1

28. Brian Duncan, Greenville, SC, $1,150.00, *72-71-72-215 -1

28. Zack Amole, Myrtle Beach, SC, $1,150.00, *70-72-73-215 -1

31. Russell Knox, Jacksonville, FL, $1,062.50, *74-71-71-216 E

31. Reid Edstrom, Auburn, AL, $1,062.50, *77-68-71-216 E

31. Frank Adams III, Laurinburg, NC, $1,062.50, *70-74-72-216 E

31. Jonathan Novak, Mt. Prospect, IL, $1,062.50, *72-71-73-216 E

35. Ben Lammi, Brisbane, Australia, $937.50, *71-74-72-217 +1

35. John Hurst, Fredricksburg, VA, $937.50, *72-71-74-217 +1

35. Matt Short, Hudson, NC, $937.50, *71-72-74-217 +1

35. Tommy Biershenk, Boiling Springs, SC, $937.50, *73-70-74-217 +1

35. Scott Feaster, Columbia, SC, $937.50, *70-73-74-217 +1

35. Brian Quackenbush, Fairfax, VA, $937.50, *73-67-77-217 +1

41. Rohan Allwood, Pinehurst, NC, $795.00, *73-72-73-218 +2

41. Stuart Moore, Auburn, AL, $795.00, *74-71-73-218 +2

41. Torstein Nevestad, Norway, $795.00, *72-72-74-218 +2

41. Ben Duncan, Greenville, SC, $795.00, *70-73-75-218 +2

41. Grover Justice, Lexington, KY, $795.00, *71-70-77-218 +2

46. James Bartell, Houston, TX, $550.00, *73-72-74-219 +3

46. John Saari, Lilburn, GA, $550.00, *76-67-76-219 +3

48. Jason Martin, Lenoir, NC, $316.67, *75-70-76-221 +5

48. Emmett Turner, Augusta, GA, $316.67, *75-70-76-221 +5

48. Michael  Maness, Galivants Ferry, SC, $316.67, *71-72-78-221 +5

51. Luke Hart, Blythewood, SC, $200.00, *71-74-77-222 +6

52. Derek Brown, Walnut Cove, NC, $200.00, *76-68-79-223 +7