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October 12-14


Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn


GOLF IS A GREAT GAME but it can also be a very cruel game; just ask James Mason. When Mason missed a four-foot putt on the


third hole of his playoff with Mark Wiebe at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn, he not only lost the tournament but he lost—at least for the time being—a chance to turn his career around. Mason, 60, celebrated his last Champions Tour


victory in 2002, had lost his playing privileges and had failed in five qualifiers until he shot 62—which included a hole-in-one to get into the tournament. “A win would have meant everything,” said


Mason. “It would have been the culmination of my career. That probably would have given me another year and a half out here. I still get a nice check, but a win would have been a total redo of my career again. But hopefully I’ll get one.”


BLISTERING SCORES The tournament was played in blazing heat, but it didn’t hurt the scoring. A Champions Tour record 1,147 birdies were made, including two by Wiebe and Mason on the final hole to set up the playoff. Fred Funk, who shot a 62, finished tied for third with Chip Beck. Wiebe and Mason both made 15-footers for


birdie on the first playoff hole (No. 18) and then headed for the clubhouse to wait out a rain


Mark Wiebe edged James Mason in a playoff to win at Rock Barn.


delay. When play resumed, Wiebe had a chance to win but missed a 15-footer for birdie, sending the players back to No. 17, a par 3. Wiebe’s tee ball left him a 40-footer, which he ran to within five feet and made for a par. Mason’s tee shot on the par 3 landed 40 feet left of the hole. Mason ran his approach putt by the hole and missed his par attempt. It was his only bogey of the day. “I feel for James,” said Wiebe said. “I’m tickled


to have won this tournament but I’m sorry for James. He played great this week.” ■


CHARLES SCHWAB CUP STANDINGS PLAYER


Tom Lehman Nick Price


Tom Watson David Eger Peter Senior Michael Allen John Cook Mark Wiebe


Loren Roberts Russ Cochran


www.pgatour.com


EVENTS 9


11 5


10 9 9


10 9


10 7


POINTS 1,494


899 850 705 657 623 560 536 501 493


595 644 789 837 871 934 958 993


1,001


3 1 1 1 - - -


2 1 -


6 7 2 3 5 6 2 4 3 5


Rock Barn Golf & Spa (Par 72/7,087 yards) Conover, North Carolina


Course Insight


Rock Barn Golf & Spa


There are two outstanding courses at Rock Barn Golf & Spa. The tournament’s host course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., one of Robert Trent Jones’ two sons who followed in their father’s considerable footsteps as architects. For much of his career Jones, Jr. focused on the west coast and Pacific Rim but has also done some wonderfully artistic courses on the east coast—and this one can be added to the list. He routed the course through beautifully contoured property and made good use of the elevation changes and a stream that winds its way through the course. The second course was designed by Tom Jackson.


POINTS BEHIND WINS TOP 10 -


1,147


The Champions Tour’s all-time


record for most birdies made in a 54-hole


tournament was shattered as


1,147 were made in regulation at


the 2011 Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.


Tournament Record 197, Mark Wiebe, 2011


Tournament 18-Hole Record 61, R.W. Eaks, 2008; Gary Hallberg, 2010


GOLF CHANNEL


Ticket Information www.


greaterhickoryclassic.com PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2012 207


© GLENN FOX PHOTOGRAPHY


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