The Tar Heel Tournament presented by Brix Pizza was held this past weekend and showcased a full field of 90 competitiors all hoping to win a portion of a large purse and claim some points towards the NC Series.
In the open division, the story was the battle between four of the top players in the state - Grant Hodges, David Wiggins Jr, Terry Gallops, and Brian Schweberger. Heading to the last round, all were within three strokes of each other. However Schweberger's hot last round was enough to take the victory and the 50 points. The win put him into sole possession of second place passing Michael Johansen who was not in attendance. Gallops increased his lead while Wiggins, Jr jumped into fourth. Hodges now sits in 11th.
The masters division has a new face and it's a face of arguably the second best player in the history of our sport, Barry Schultz. Schultz fired back to back 43's on Sunday - the best round of the weekend of any division by 2 strokes - to cruise to an 18 shot victory - not to mention 7 strokes ahead of Schweberger's total. The 50 points puts Schultz in 9th place in the series, not bad for only his second appearance. Jeff Baldwin continues to dominate the standings after a third place finish and now sits 157 points ahead of Brian McRee. Chris Lee closed the gap on McRee for second with a sixth place finish. The big move was from Eric Vanderberg who finished second and jumped into fourth place in the standings.
The advanced division was as competitive as ever as 8 rounds shot in the event eclipsed the 1000 rating mark. Three of those came from Aaron Rothrock who picked up the victory and the 50 points. Matt Gill and Jim Senior tied for third and made the big moves this weekend jumping to second (Senior) and fourth (Gill) in the standings. Series leader Jon Mills struggled a bit this weekend but finished seventh to increase his lead to 36 over Senior. Rothrock and Robert Leonard both jumped into the top 10 in the standings as well and Elaine King moved all the way to twelfth after a ninth place finish.
Without a doubt the closest race in the series is in the intermediate division. Mike Norris, who was idle, was the series leader but had his lead severely decreased after John Mickelson, Brian Waer and Chris MacLeod all had solid finishes in the event. Norris now leads over Mickelson by 1 point, Waer by 4 points and MacLeod by 22 points. Brian Adams made his first appearance on the tour picking up 50 points with an impressive win.
The next event on the tour is down east this coming weekend with the Kings Cup and many of the contenders in the series are registered to compete. This is starting to get really interesting!