Hutson wins H-S Classic Presidents Flight
One week earlier, Gerrett Hutson wasn’t even sure he’d be playing in the Herald-Sun Golf Classic.
On Sunday, he walked off with a trophy as the President’s Flight winner.
Hutson entered the tournament at the last minute when a spot opened up due to another player’s cancellation. He earned the No. 9 seed in the President’s Flight during the two-day qualifying rounds and proceeded to win four consecutive match play contests.
In Sunday’s final, he topped Travis Byrd, 2 and 1, to claim the first-place trophy.
“I woke up (last) Sunday morning and was told there was a spot available,” Hutson said. “I decided to come out here, pulled the rabbit out of the hat and got something done. I’m excited for it.”
Against Byrd, Hutson trailed by two holes after the first five. But he won four consecutive holes to close the front nine 2-up and never trailed again.
-- Steve Wiseman
Nils Norgaard hit his second shot on the first playoff hole to within three feet and made the putt to win the first flight title match over Robert Semler. The 29-year-old from Creedmore was 3-up at the turn, but fell behind by one before winning the 16th hole.
“I want to thank Bobby for one heck of a round,” said Norgaard, who works at Apparel Designs in Durham. “It was a challenge. He didn’t give up by any means. He gave me every bit I could handle.”
After three previous tries, this was Norgaard’s first time playing in the weekend at the Classic.
“I left my driver in the bag, and that was the difference,” Norgaard said. “It feels great, especially after the battle we just had.”
Chad Bryant overcame losing the first two holes to claim his first title in his third appearance at the Classic.
“I didn’t really feel down at all,” Bryant said. “I just tried to keep my emotions at an even keel throughout. I knew if I kept playing my game I’d be in it through the whole 18.”
Bryant got back to even at the turn and won Nos. 13 and 14 to take the lead. He dedicated the win to his great uncle, Johnnie Bryant, who recently passed away and was the reason Bryant started playing golf every day.
The 20-year-old Durham native is studying computer science at Durham Tech.
After playing in the tournament every year since 1998, Tim King won his first title on Sunday.
“I might not have played the best round I’ve ever played but I got up and down on just about every hole,” said King, a 47-year old industrial radiator operator who was born and raised in Durham and now lives in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
King had played in one previous final, in 2006.
The turning point to King’s win came on No. 11, when he hit a shot from the cedar bushes behind the green to within six feet. His ensuing par putt gave him a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.
After a sluggish start to qualifying, David Perry improved each day to earn his second title in his sixth tournament appearance.
“It was nice to finally summon my talents for a little while,” Perry said. “I was in the cooler on Monday. I’m just glad to start playing well by the end of the week.”
A 45-year-old Durham native who now lives in Charlotte and owns All American Chemical And Maintenance Supply, Perry won the third flight earlier this decade.
Playing his first final after four years at the Classic, Tim Simpson won the 16th hole and closed out his title-winning run on No. 17.
“It was a good match,” Simpson said. “We were back and forth the whole round.”
He said the improved performance this year was because of “more practice, more dedication.”
The 55-year-old from Durham works at Liggett Group.
The first-ever Senior Division championship came down to a marathon finish. Abe Lewis outlasted Johnny Adams on the eighth playoff hole to claim the 60-and-over senior title.
The 66-year-old Durham resident said he was “relieved and excited” to win the senior division after six hours on the course in one of the longest matches in Classic history.
Lewis also needed extra time to win his semifinal match on Saturday in 20 holes. Lewis said he plays golf six days a week, so he was able to handle a tournament that requires six rounds in seven days.
Senior first flight
Bill Martinson hit a hole-in-one on the 155-yard seventh hole en route to winning the first flight of the senior division.
The 67-year-old Chapel Hill resident was playing in the Classic for the first time after moving from the Phoenix area. Martinson is the father of UNC assistant golf coach Patricia Earley
At Hillandale Golf Course
Alex Brese def. Mike Roberts, 6 and 5
Gerrett Hutson def. Travis Byrd, 2 and 1
Niles Norgaard def. Robert Semler, 1-up/19 holes
Chad Bryant def. Chris Outland, 2 up
Tim King def. Wade Hamlett, 3 and 2
David Perry def. Phillip Ray, 5 and 4
Tim Simpson def. Derrick Sims, 2 and 1
Abe Lewis def. Johnny Adams, 1-up/26 holes
BIll Martinson def. Fred Avila, 1-up