Classic Notes: Robinson feathers nest with rare double eagle

Jun. 20, 2013 @ 10:35 PM

It was so quiet on Hillandale Golf Course’s 14th hole early Thursday afternoon that Jay Robinson heard history in the making 170 yards away.

Robinson, of Raleigh, hit 7-iron on his second shot on the 440-yard, par 5. The ball sailed toward the hole, ticked off the flag stick and fell into the hole for a rare double-eagle during play at the 67th Herald-Sun Golf Classic.

“It was so quiet I heard it hit the flag,” Robinson said. “Real lightly. And pretty much saw it disappear. My brother and dad were right behind me. I looked back and for some reason I didn’t get excited right away. But I looked back and said, `Guys, it just went in the hole.’ And they said, `Nah it bounced over the green.’”

About to tee off on No. 15 during her Championship Flight match-play battle with John Gaddy, Meghan Moore saw the ball bounce into the hole on 14. She signaled as such to Robinson and Stephen Kuenzli, who was playing against Abe Lewis in a President’s Flight match, checked the hole and found the ball.

A few whoops and hollers were heard. A double eagle is considered about nine times more rare than a hole-in-one.

“I was trying to stay cool because when you have more golf to play you need to keep your composure and not let it get away from you,” Robinson said.

Robinson parred No. 15 and won his match 4 and 2 over Jonathan Price to advance to today’s quarterfinals against Dalton Rich.

It’s the second career double eagle for Robinson. His other came at River Hills Country Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

On Thursday’s shot, he was simply plotting strategy when he came up with a surprise.

“I was trying to aim five yards to the left,” Robinson said. “If it fades, good. If not, I’m in the middle of the green. It kind of faded just enough and it hit just into the bank and…”

MUSCLE MEMORY

There really must be something to all of the talk about muscle memory being such a critical component of golf.

“Monday was the first time I’ve touched a club in a month,” Durham’s Newt Barringer said Thursday.

Barringer’s golf muscles must have done some good memorizing. He’s still hanging around in the Herald-Sun Golf Classic, beating Creedmoor’s Gary Newcomb 5 and 4 on the second day of match play.

Barringer, who just graduated from Riverside, said his short game is making all of the difference.

“Definitely my chipping. Chipping’s awesome, right now, because I’m never hitting the green, so I’m chipping a lot,” Barringer said. “I’ve been hitting 3-wood off every tee, because my driver’s going everywhere.”

In April’s Durham County High School Invitational at Treyburn Country Club, Barringer battled a bad back that he would later tweak while swinging his clubs in state high school competition.

“The more I’ve been playing, the more I’ve been getting back to it,” Barringer said. “It just took a few days to get it back, and I’ll be where I was where I left off, soon.”

Barringer said he is headed to N.C. State to focus on electrical engineering — and, maybe, some golf, too.

“I’ll try to walk on, at least the club team,” Barringer said.

ZIP ... ZIP ... ZIP

Hillandale golf director Karl Kimball somehow is managing to zip all over the course without looking frazzled as he works to keep things running smoothly at the Herald-Sun Golf Classic.

Today is Day 5 of the tournament, and he’s had to fight Mother Nature for sending rain that tossed a wrench in scheduling and threw in some wrinkles on his good-looking course.

But Kimball just keeps zipping around in a golf cart, pulling up to the leader board to update scores, pulling over to engage folks in conversation, and he does it with a smile.

Yet nothing puts delightful creases in Kimball’s face like the work he does with Hillandale’s H.E.A.R.T.S. Club, which allows sick kids from around the world at Duke Hospital’s Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and their families to hang out at the golf course at no charge. Whether the families are out there relieving stress by pounding golf balls at the driving range or just goofing off in golf carts as if Hillandale were a NASCAR track, Kimball would tell you that it’s the least he and his staff could do for some special children whose time might be cut short due to life-threatening illnesses.

So that’s why Kimball, despite Mother Nature, was so determined to pull off Hillandale’s annual golf fundraiser on Wednesday for H.E.A.R.T.S., short for Hillandale Embracing A Really Tough Situation.

The Herald-Sun is the lead sponsor for the H.E.A.R.T.S fundraiser, which last year generated $6,975. That number should get eclipsed this time, Herald-Sun advertising director Thomas Tuttle said.