Pugh wins Kivett title in playoff

Apr. 29—HIGH POINT — Gary Pugh stayed steady down the stretch, made a couple key birdies when he needed to and captured the city golf title.

Pugh birdied the 18th hole to force a playoff, outlasted Tyler Partee over two playoff holes and finally clinched the Bud Kivett Memorial Championship on Sunday at Oak Hollow Golf Course.

"I'm a bit surprised," Pugh said with a laugh. "It's a tournament we always look forward to playing. I've played in it for a number of years. I kind of had a feeling that I've started playing a little bit better here in the last week or two.

"I felt confident I could compete in the regular age group instead of the senior division. Everything turned out good — I hit the ball as well as I have in probably the last two years. I putted fairly well today, and I'm pleased to get the win."

All 14 players in the championship flight started the day within three shots of leader Zachary Arms, who shot a 68 in the opening round Saturday at Blair Park to carry a one-shot advantage into the final day.

Pugh started the day well, carding birdies on Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 to make the turn in 4-under 32. Bogeys on the long par-5 10th and undulating par-4 14th were the lone interruptions in a steady stream of pars on the back nine.

A birdie on the final hole gave him his second consecutive 69 and a 138 total.

"The pin placements were pretty difficult today," Pugh said. "But fortunately I parred some of the harder holes, and I probably picked up a half a stroke or a stroke on the more difficult holes. I made a real good birdie putt — the only birdie I made on the back side — about 15 feet and downhill on 18."

Partee, who starred at Ledford and now plays at North Carolina A&T, eagled the par-5 fifth hole to highlight a 2-under front nine. He finished strong by eagling the difficult par-5 15th and birdieing the par-3 16th for a 5-under 67 — the lowest round in the tournament's main division.

After shooting 71 on Saturday, he also finished with a 138 total.

So the two competitors teed off on No. 1 — both driving into the trees left, hitting near the green and two-putting for bogey. On No. 2, Pugh drove over the hill and safely into the right side of the fairway, while Partee hit way right — over the trees and perilously close to the out of bounds that lines the parking lot.

But Partee hit a dazzling recovery shot — clearing all kinds of potential trouble — and ended up just right of the par-5 green in two. Pugh's second shot ended up just along the back edge of the green, fortunately staying above the slope that claimed Partee's bold pitch as it rolled past the back hole location.

Partee eventually got up and down for an incredible par, while Pugh putted close and tapped in for birdie to win the tournament championship.

"My main goal was just to hit something solid, get it in that fairway and just give yourself a chance to get it on that green in two, which I did," Pugh said. "I was fortunate it stayed on the green. It was only about an 8 foot putt. He made a great comeback to make a five. I was just fortunate to be able to pull it out."

Coston Fogleman took third with a 71-70 — 141. Matt Miller (72-70 — 142), Mark RIley (79-73 — 152), Stephen Kimsey (82-78 — 160) and William Butler (86-84 — 170) won flight titles, while former champion Marc Cox (71-66 — 137) won the senior championship and Charles McIntosh (80-77 — 157) won the senior first flight.